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Chael Sonnen’s suspension reduced, Josh Barnett’s license still in limbo after CSAC hearing

As expected, two well-known Mixed Martial Artists met with the CSAC this week to address their PED-related statuses in the Golden State. Five Ounces of Pain‘s Bryan Ward offers readers a look into the proceedings…

Josh Barnett appeared before the California State Athletic Commission on Thursday without counsel and attempted to apply for a new license to fight in the State under the hopeful presumption that his license had expired as a year has passed since he was denied renewal; that he would simply need begin a new license application process, more or less “starting from scratch”. Barnett’s angle was that for his “new” license he would provide new paperwork and a fresh sample for any necessary screening for performance enhancing drugs.

However, the commission went on to advise Strikeforce‘s Barnett that his 2009 positive PED test would not be overlooked and proof of “rehabilitation” since the failed test would be necessary for the granting of a new license to be considered, as would a CSAC hearing where a series of probing questions would be asked. Ultimately, the affable heavyweight was granted a continuance until the next CSAC hearing and any hopes of avoiding an appeal-esque hearing were dashed. Barnett will have to seek counsel for representation at the future meeting. During the proceeding Barnett referred to being “caught off-guard” by the entire process, as he had only planned to reapply and not prepared to testify under oath. At times the CSAC group seemed a bit confused as too, at points questioning each other on what exactly Barnett was attempting to do or what his actual status in California was.

Also on the CSAC’s “main card”, UFC 185-pound contender Chael Sonnen approached the December 2 hearing in far different fashion than did Barnett, appearing alongside a long-winded attorney, his counsel’s sidekick, and a gum-chewing, T-Shirt-wearing, doctor. The dog-and-pony show that unfolded must be seen to be believed, as in the end, Sonnen’s yearlong suspension was decreased to six months with the $2,500 fine being upheld. Sonnen will be given credit for “time served” towards the suspension which will keep the embattled fighter/politician out of MMA action until March 2.

Here is CSAC-issued video of Thursday’s hearing:

13 COMMENTS
  • I wont lie, i had to skip around while watching that whole batch of ridiculous. well….It was downright upsetting to watch that whole process unfold and watch Chael constantly use the old trick of “I dont recall” over and over and over….. When that guy stops fighting he will be quite the accomplished politician as he kept a stone face the entire time. Sadly, with one maybe two wins, he’ll be fast tracked right back to the spider(whether he retains his title against Vitor or not) but hopefully Anderson wont come in with busted ribs this time, and he’ll decimate this trash talker the way we know he can.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Both Cheal and Josh can go to Japan for the rest of there careers for all I care

  • bigbadjohn says:

    screw you guys. Chael is one of the most interesting and endearing fighters in the division. He talks trash better than anyone (that’s right McCorkle, you aint got shit on Sonnen) and he brings more game/drive to the table than most of the UFC’s best. Hes in Anderson’s head now so that’s gotta be the #1 fight I or any of my peers want to see (of any division). Rece, you insensitive bastard, the guy had malfunctioning balls. Hes not a repeat steroid offender like Barnett. You and superdave should go to Japan!

  • bigbadjohn says:

    and you know Chael will rip thru X amount of guys to get back to the top. He’s a beast. Note to rest of Middleweight fighters: practice your defensive subs!

  • s13 says:

    hey ‘bigbadjohn’ i guess you didn’t realize that anderson fought that fight with broken ribs (not rib, but ribs as in more than one) and still won. i’ve had bruised ribs several times in training and i can tell you its near impossible to train, especially to stop takedowns, and your punching power and basically everything is limited and nowhere near as powerful. Chael juiced…period, he tested 16 when 0-4 is the norm for test levels, that means he was 4x over what the average man is, which means his strength level was through the roof and comparable to an uper echelon heavyweight, hulk contender. Don’t you find it odd how he never really talked trash in the WEC, gets rolled in his first few UFC boutsm, then all of a sudden after the Demian fight, he goes on a tirade talking abot how he would beat anderson etc, while crushing yushin and nate along the way? His performances did a complete 180 and he dominated the biggest and strongest guys in the division and had a swagger about him as if he knew he would dominate….but not before the fight with maia. it was clear he was juicing when he beat yushin and nate, and he knew he was going to get tested being in the main event (someone clearly shared that info with him unfortunately after he took his cycle) so what are you to do after you inject your buttox then realize “OH SNAP! I’M IN THE MAIN EVENT…I’M GOING TO GET TESTED!” answer: damage control, tell the officials about it before going in and get the team together for a silly excuse. Other fighters undergo TRT for low test counts but they fall within the normal levels of 0-4…again, chael was 16…its obvious the dood is a cheater so accept it. I will say though, no one is more entertaining than chael and i’ll definately be watching his next fight. Should he fight anderson again, its blatantly clear anderson will crush him as he won’t fight him injured again. Josh Barnett: rofl jokes.

  • MCM says:

    s13 – not sure if you remember, but Sonnen always talked shit in the WEC. He went straight from that weird ass second title fight with Filho to his fight with Maia and he came into that with attitude too. Chael has always been a smack talker, that’s why they gave him to Yushin and Marquardt only he wound up on the winning side of those.
    I’m not saying he wasn’t on something he shouldn’t have been on, it’s obvious he was. But it’s in accurate to say that he was a different fighter for his last three bouts.

    Anyone else find it weird that the CSAC throws out these year long punishments only to cut them in half everytime a fighter argues their case (Sherk)?

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “After the first round he said he broke his ribs. He said told me he could not breath because of the rib. I told him to forget the rib and work the movement of legs and he would get the triangle… After the fight he went to the hospital and did an x-ray and the doctor said he did not break it, it was just a crack.”
    -cornerman Ramon Lemos

    Don’t try and say it amazing that in a fight a fighter gets injured and wins. It happens all the time. It wasn’t broken and it wasn’t ribs it was a cracked rib. It is a fight you know.

    I want to see them both fight again. I don’t care if it is the US, Japan or New Zealand. Just as long as it is against top comp. GSP was getting greased and I consider that just as bad as anything Sonnen did .

    P.S. “he tested 16 when 0-4 is the norm for test levels, that means he was 4x over what the average man is, which means his strength level was through the roof and comparable to an uper echelon heavyweight, hulk contender.”
    WTF?. Mixing fact with fiction here? really a HW, hulk contender?

  • Dufresne says:

    Ever had a cracked rib? Trust me, it’s just as bad as a broken rib.

    But regardless, Silva won that fight. I’d like to see a rematch sometime down the road, but not right now.

    Oh and ” GSP was getting greased and I consider that just as bad as anything Sonnen did . ” , really? You think a corner man wiping grease on you is worse that abusing anabolic steroids? To each his own opinion, but I gotta completely disagree with you there. I do agree that having 4x the amount of testosterone doesn’t mean he was anywhere near 4x as strong, but steroids do a lot more for you in a fight than vaseline does.

  • mu_shin says:

    I don’t know if any of you guys actually watched the CSAC hearing, but I did, the whole thing.

    None of Sonnen’s test results from 2008 through the fight in 2010 were shown to be outside the “normal” range for testosterone, The urine test he took prior to the Silva fight confirmed the presence of exogenous (literally outside the body) testosterone, but not the level. The officials at the hearing quoted a normal testosterone range of 400-1080 ng/dl, (nanograms per decileter) so I don’t have a clue what “1-4” means as a normal range, or saying Sonnen tested at 16, but the medical evidence presented to the CSAC by actual doctors leads me to believe he may have been stupid, mislead, or ill-informed when it came to disclosing his medical condition, but there is no evidence to suggest that he was using enough test to give him a supraphysiological effect or advantage in this particular instance.

    The counsel for the CSAC was trying to get to the fact that hypogonadism, the medical condition Sonnen is being treated for with bi-weekly testosterone injections, is in fact a known side effect of steroid abuse, but this issue was not dealt with in the hearing. Sonnen’s doctor deflected the inquiry by counsel, and the issue was not raised again until the commissioners discussed potential actions to be taken in the future should a case like this arise again.

    After listening to the testimony given at this hearing, and hearing what Sonnen himself had to say, I think he was foolish not to fully disclose his medical condition, but he had some good reasons to believe he didn’t have to, having done so previously in Nevada, and believing he had fully disclosed by proxy in California for a previous fight. Lesson learned for him, and for this fan, I don’t approve of what he did in terms of not fully disclosing his medical condition and subsequent treatment, but I believe he had legitimate reasons to believe what he did was acceptable, and again, there is no medical evidence that was presented to prove that he “cheated”, that the amount of testosterone he is receiving gave him an unfair advantage in the ring. Going forward, he needs to document and fully disclose his medical needs, and then try again to reach a championship fight. When he does, I’ll watch it, and hope for another great match like the previous attempt.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “but steroids do a lot more for you in a fight than vaseline does.”

    To each his own but how the f#ck do you know?. Perhaps you have tried both? From my POV both are cheating and giving 1 fighter an unfair advantage.
    Sorry I should just agree and let people say he had broken ribs when he didn’t. I mean like you said 1 cracked rib is just as bad as broken ribs … not! and where you got that idea from is a mystery. I think you meant to say a cracked rib is still pretty bad right?. Because I’m sure cracked ribs is worse than a cracked rib and I’m also sure broken ribs are worse than cracked ones. 100% sure.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Chael did to Silva what he has done to every fighter he’s ever met. Is it steroids that develop work ethic, drive, or determination? No it’s charaxcter.

  • Dufresne says:

    To each his own but how the f#ck do you know?.

    I don’t. I’ve never taken anabolic steroids. I was simply looking at what each would give you an advantage in: vaseline obviously helps the most in the grappling game, it makes you harder to take down, harder to keep down, harder to control when you’re on top, and harder to submit; steroids give you more power, explosiveness, improve your energy levels and cardio, and speed recovery time which seems to me would help you in every aspect of the fight, not just grappling. That’s what I based my judgement on, nothing scientific, just tried to break it down the only way I could.

    I mean like you said 1 cracked rib is just as bad as broken ribs … not! and where you got that idea from is a mystery

    I never said that 1 cracked rib is as bad as several broken ribs, I don’t know where you got that from to be honest. In fact if you look at my original post, I said “Ever had a cracked rib? Trust me, it’s just as bad as a broken rib.” 1:1. And how do I know that? Because I’ve had a total of 8 broken ribs and 13 cracked ones. When I had 3 broken ribs I was in just as much hell as when I had 3 cracked ones. You can’t do anything without it hurting including breathing. I also never said anything about when he got the injury, so ease up there too.

  • Sure John it takes character to cheat. Chael’s a hell of a competitor but facts are facts, he cheated and he was caught…oh yeah AND HE LOST. Secondly I’ll happily go to Japan. That’d be awesome. and so what he has malfunctioning balls? Forrest has an immune defeciency and he still fights clean.

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