CSAC to Deal With Chael Sonnen and Josh Barnett Tomorrow

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The California State Athletic Commission will deal with Josh Barnett's request to reinstate his MMA license and Chael Sonnen's appeal of his suspension tomorrow before lunch according to this PDF. Barnett was refused a license in California when he failed a drug test in August 2009 ten days before his scheduled bout with Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy. Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after his middleweight title fight at UFC 117. 

MMA Fighting has some new info regarding Sonnen's case:

According to the documents, on Aug. 6 -- the day of his drug test -- Sonnen admitted to event supervisor Frank Munoz that he had taken testosterone as recently as the day before. In fact, Sonnen listed the substance on a section of the urine sample form in which the party to be tested is asked to divulge any medications or substances he has taken in recent days, including vitamins or minerals.

On the forms, the 33-year-old Sonnen listed "1 shot" of testosterone, which he stated he took on Aug. 5, just two days before his title match with Silva.

...
On Sept. 2, the lab informed the CSAC that Sonnen's testosterone to epitestosterone ratio (T/E) tested at 16.9. Though testosterone is naturally occurring in the human body, that number is well above the T/E threshold ratio of 4.0. A follow-up carbon isotope analysis was conducted on Sept. 7, with the finding that the test results were consistent with the administration of a steroid. The lab subsequently sent the CSAC 66 pages of documentation with the intent of scientifically supporting their findings, establishing chain of custody of the specimen and proving the sample's integrity was maintained throughout the process.

Zach Arnold comments:

Who knows how the political winds have changed in California and whether or not this will be a forgiving appeals panel to one Chael Sonnen. What I do know is this - after Thursday's hearing, we may find out some new angles to usage of PEDs in MMA. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned publicly that I thought it was curious that all of a sudden we are starting to hear reports about fighters allegedly using TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). TRT is not exactly something that you associate with healthy guys in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Yes, I realize that 2010 became the year that lots of potions and infomercials for "Low T" (testosterone) got pitched to the public to buy the latest and greatest invention to give your sex life a boost and make you more active again like you used to be. However, we're talking about MMA fighters here who are viewed by many fans as tremendous athletes. (More on a TRT defense here.)

Hormonal replacement therapy and TRT can, in some instances, be credibly explained. In other cases, the usage of such methods should raise a lot of red flags. If guys are hurting their bodies allegedly through bad weight cutting procedures or through the usage of PEDs, then it's hard to say with a straight face that this is somehow a safe sport. After all, what is the purpose of TRT? It's used when someone has a damaged endocrine system and has to synthetically boost their testosterone levels in their bodies. For most sports fans, this is not a topic you think much about. For pro-wrestling fans who have witnessed many public scandals involving online pharmacies and mark doctors, TRT is not a new revelation.

Cage Side Seats broke the news that Sonnen hadn't notified the Nevada State Athletic Commission of any therapeutic use of TRT before his fight against Yushin Okami in February 2010 a few weeks back. That news blew a major hole in Sonnen's expected claims that he'd been on TRT for several fights preceding UFC 117 and therefore thought he could simply put "testosterone" on a form for substances he'd taken prior to the fight and be fine. 

Sonnen has hired Howard Jacobs, the lawyer who represented Sean Sherk and Antonio Silva before the CSAC a few years back. We'll see if they succeed in shaving any time off Sonnen's suspension.

As for Barnett I have no idea if this will be a routine hearing to reinstate his license or if some public belly-crawling will be expected of the notorious heavyweight. He has signed a new contract with Strikeforce and presumably will fight for that promotion in 2011 if all goes well at the hearing. 

UPDATE: S.C. Michaelson has a look at the details of the CSAC paperwork dump. It's a must read. 

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