Sonnen Suspension Upheld 4-1: Live Updates from Chael Sonnen's CSAC Hearing

UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen is appearing before the California State Athletic Commission today. They re-suspended him a few days ago based on contradictions between his sworn testimony at his previous CSAC hearing and the statements of others, notably Nevada State Athletic Commission official Keith Kizer. 

For a comprehensive update on the whole drama, I recommend Cage Side Seats

Quick summary is as follows: Sonnen was suspended by the CSAC for a failed drug test after UFC 117. At his appeals hearing he claimed that the Nevada Commission had cleared him for medical use of testosterone. The CSAC halved his suspension at that time. Reports quickly emerged that NSAC head Keith Kizer denied having approved anything. Then Sonnen pled guilty to a felony money laundering charge from his real estate business. Then the NSAC announced they would have to hold a hearing before licensing him. The UFC wanted Sonnen to coach The Ultimate Fighter and fight Michael Bisping in a #1 contender elmination match. That was apparently scotched after a meeting with Kizer. Then the CSAC announced they were re-suspending Sonnen and here we are.

Here we go with live tweets from Josh Gross of ESPN and MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco after the jump.

MMAjunkieSteven At Chael Sonnen's CSAC hearing...it's cramped. Only one commissioner has found the Executive Officer's conference room.
JoshGrossESPN NSAC executive director Keith Kizer to testify via streaming video. Sonnen and CSAC exec. officer George Dodd will also be witnesses.
MMAjunkieSteven Deputy DA Karen Chapelle making opening statement. Laying foundation of CSAC's suspension. Statements to Kizer on center stage...    

JoshGrossESPN First sniping between lawyers re: entry of evidence of Sonnen's statements in interviews. The state wins this one. The clips will be heard.
MMAjunkieSteven Objection overruled on introducing clip. Watching clip from Sonnen's Dec. Hearing
MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen interview with Inside MMA being played now.
JoshGrossESPN  Sonnen's attorney Steve Thompson says the felony conviction in Oregon should play no part in his licensing in California. Eloquent opening.    

MMAjunkieSteven  Thompson reveals Sonnen is under consideration to coach next season of tuf and fight bisping in no 1 contender bout.
JoshGrossESPN  Keith Kizer is being sworn in now.
JoshGrossESPN Fancy moving camera by remote control allows Kizer to see Sonnen's attorney Thompson. Money well spent, California.
JoshGrossESPN Kizer recalls a conversation with Matt Lindland in 2008 re: therapeutic use exemption. But Sonnen's name wasn't brought up specifically.
MMAjunkieSteven  Thompson now crossing Keith Kizer.
MMAjunkieSteven Kizer denies calling Sonnen a liar and fraud in March meeting re: seconds license for TUF. Chaplains objects to line of questioning.    

JoshGrossESPN Chapelle objects to Thompson's questions re: when & what Keith Kizer knew. Said issue is what Sonnen knew, not what Kizer or Lindland knew.

JoshGrossESPN Thompson is working hard to establish that Sonnen was informed by Matt Lindland that he was cleared in Nevada in 2008.    

JoshGrossESPN Kizer just name dropped me. Good times. He's being asked about denying conversations with Sonnen related to TRT, use exemptions.    

MMAjunkieSteven The dude sitting next to me, one Josh gross, makes appearance on the record in relation to exchange bn Dodd and Kizer at dec. hearing.
JoshGrossESPN And @arielhelwani gets a mention. It's a media party. @MMAjunkieSteven is jealous.    

JoshGrossESPN Sonnen is taking the oath, he's testifying now.

MMAjunkieSteven  Chael is testifying now. Chappelle asking him what he's done to rehabilitate himself.

JoshGrossESPN Too bad Matt Lindland is in Poland. His name is being brought up a lot.

MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen says he's comfortable with testimony in Dec. Hearing.

JoshGrossESPN Sonnen is very understated. He said he never intended to make it sound like he had a conversation with Keith Kizer.
JoshGrossESPN Sonnen said Lindland made it sound to him as if he was cleared for TRT in Nevada and California.
JoshGrossESPN Sonnen affirms he never spoke with Kizer, other commission director or a commissioner re: TRT or a use exemption.
JoshGrossESPN Sonnen stands by his testimony on Dec. 2.
MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen said he rec'd none of kickback money re: real estate fraud case.
JoshGrossESPN Sonnen said UFC would give him a job 18 days from now. "A once in a lifetime opportunity to be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter."
JoshGrossESPN The winner of the fight between coaches (Michael Bisping) would earn a title shot against the UFC middleweight champion.
MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen says he's handling licensing matters himself now in wake of suspension.
JoshGrossESPN "If I don't get my license today I'm effectively retired. That came from the boss, Dana White." -- Chael Sonnen
MMAjunkieSteven Chael: I don't want to retire today

MMAjunkieSteven Chael: I am just asking you to go back to work.
JoshGrossESPN "I worked for this chance my whole life. I don't want to retire today." Chael is welling up. He's talking about himself.
JoshGrossESPN Commissioner Anthony Thompson asks for details on the real estate plea. "We did not set out to break the law."
MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen answering questions about real estate case.

JoshGrossESPN Commissioner Christopher Giza gets to the "veracity" of Sonnen's comments.    JoshGrossESPN Dr. Giza has consistently been the best commissioner in California for years. He's going after Sonnen on inconsistent statements.    

MMAjunkieSteven Commissioner Christopher Giza says Sonnen has given contradictory statements that call into question his truthfulness and rehabilitation
MMAjunkieSteven Dr. Van Lemons asks Chael about his testosterone usage.
MMAjunkieSteven You couldnt imagine a Chael Sonnen more different now than the one we've grown to love (and hate)    

JoshGrossESPN Sonnen says he understands he need testosterone therapy for his "survival." Has testosterone of "93-year-old man."
JoshGrossESPN Dr. Van Lemons asks about Sonnen's TRT treatment, what he's taking and how he's taking it. Sonnen said he's monitored at least 2x a month.
MMAjunkieSteven  You couldnt imagine a Chael Sonnen more different now than the one we've grown to love (and hate)
MMAjunkieSteven Sonnen says he still takes testosterone, Lemons says he needs second opinion on its use    
JoshGrossESPN  Dean of the commission, John Frierson, is speaking now: "It's very hard for me to believe in your second chance."
JoshGrossESPN Tone of the commissioners suggests they will not rule favorably for Sonnen. But they've fooled me before. Testimony is wrapped.
JoshGrossESPN Actually, Sonnen's testimony is wrapped. Sonnen's lawyers are asking to examine George Dodd (CSAC exec. officer). And they're allowed.
MMAjunkieSteven We're back. Thompson asks to call George Dodd to testify on whether any athlete has previously been suspended for white collar crime    
MMAjunkieSteven Chappelle objects but Thompson gets to question Dodd, who says nobody under his watch has been suspended for white-collar crime.
MMAjunkieSteven  Evidence to be entered into record now being discussed.    
JoshGrossESPN  So far no question/mention re: what UFC officials knew about Sonnen's TRT therapy. UFC Dr. Davidson declared last Dec. he was told in 2009.    
JoshGrossESPN  Sonnen's camp is attempting to enter a declaration from Matt Lindland. Chappelle asks it to be stricken & Calif. won't allow it into record.    
MMAjunkieSteven Matt Lindland's declaration not entered in it's entirety into the record.
MMAjunkieSteven  Closing arguments begin. Chappelle        
JoshGrossESPN   Chappelle: Sonnen "always has someone else to blame."
MMAjunkieSteven  Chappelle says commissions should stick together. "I don't know how you can ever really trust him."    
JoshGrossESPN "I don't know how you can ever trust him," she says. Chappelle is weaving a picture of Sonnen as someone who does not tell the truth.
JoshGrossESPN  Thompson: Sonnen made mistakes but is a "fundamentally good person." Reiterates that Sonnen's testimony was based on what Lindland told him.        
MMAjunkieSteven  Thompson wishes in hindsight that they'd spent more time in previous hearing clarifying interactions with NSAC
JoshGrossESPN  Thompson said this shouldn't be "a game of gotcha" and asks commissioners to consider White's words that no license means Sonnen is done.        
JoshGrossESPN Thompson is talking up how much UFC supports Sonnen through their willingness to put him on TUF and a potential title fight.    
JoshGrossESPN  Commissioners will deliberate now.
MMAjunkieSteven  CSAC discussing options for what to do with Sonnen's current suspension.
JoshGrossESPN   Not sounding great for the Sonnen camp. We'll get a decision here soon.
MMAjunkieSteven  From what I'm hearing so far in deliberations, it's really not looking good for Sonnen
JoshGrossESPN Dr. Van Lemons gets back to testosterone use. Said he has serious issues of allowing its use in competition. Completely agree with that.    
MMAjunkieSteven  All commissioners agree that Sonnen's conviction and statements to commission do constitute discredit to MMA
MMAjunkieSteven Commissioner Hernandez issues motion to uphold indefinite suspension, and it's seconded quickly
JoshGrossESPN  Public comments are being made. A woman, Marika Taylor, speaks passionately on behalf of Sonnen. As does attorney Raffi Nahabedian.    
JoshGrossESPN  Sonnen's mother is speaking.    
JoshGrossESPN   She said she went to doctor w/ Chael and is convinced he needs testosterone whether he competes or not. Just to get out of bed in morning.
JoshGrossESPN Sonnen's mom (sorry, she didn't give her name): Did he really lie the last time he was here? 
MMAjunkieSteven  Commissioners vote 4-1 to uphold chaels suspension.    

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