Alistair Overeem was in person at today's Nevada Athletic Commission meeting to address his positive test for elevated testosterone levels at his random pre-fight drug test for UFC 146. His item was last on a thirty-six item agenda.
In a bit of an interesting twist, two fighters ahead of Overeem had tested positive for banned substances and tried different (and ineffective) defenses. Shawn Fitzsimmons claimed that he was on a program for low testosterone but never went to an endocrinologist, and when called out on having tried to stop using a month out from the fight and "cycle off" he was suspended 9 months, lost his $1,500 win bonus, was fined 30% of his show money and had the win changed to a no contest. The same punishment (without the win bonus which wasn't applicable) was given to boxer Javier Flores who claimed he had taken what he thought were vitamin B-12 injections.
With the table set that the commission wasn't exactly in the mood to deal with shady stories about why positive tests had been returned.
It was made clear from the start that Overeem and the rest of the UFC 146 press conference participants were told they would be tested and needed to stick around for the testing. As soon as the presser was over, Overeem attempted to run out of the building before being stopped and told it was going to be treated as a positive test. His excuse was that he was going to an interview, then he changed the story to that he was going to speak to his attorney about his battery case and then changed again that he was avoiding being served by Golden Glory with papers.
When it was time to pick one of the stories, Overeem's lawyer went with the story that they were trying to avoid being served with papers by Golden Glory.
Overeem's lawyer continued with the story of Overeem being given an anti-inflammatory and then said that he still had a vial of the medicine he was given and that it turns out that the vial had "B-12, Texamethazone, keterolec and testosterone." The lawyer asserted that it was not known by Overeem that testosterone was in the injection and that it is behind what caused the spike in his testosterone level.
A motion for a 45-60 day continuance by Alistair's team was denied when it was determined that there was no benefit to the fighter or the public, resulting in Overeem being questioned about the string of injuries he claimed to have suffered that made him need to get the injection to begin with. Overeem also clarified that he did not ask what was in the injection beyond what little he was told by the doctor. That is one of the key points to the hearing as the athlete is the one responsible for anything put in their body. "I didn't know" being an acceptable excuse opens the door for every fighter who ever tests positive for anything going forward.
Questioning of Overeem concluded and the questioning of the doctor (Dr. Molina) who injected Overeem began. The already generally negative outlook for Overeem got worse during the questioning as Molina had his story change, couldn't pronounce the names of the medications in the injection and put on a classically bad performance that seemed as though it would doom Overeem.
In the end, the commission said that they feel Overeem is a championship level fighter, and the commission doesn't feel that he "juices" with steroids, but the burden is on the fighter to understand what is put into their body. They denied his license due to the failed drug test which normally would carry with it a 12 month period before he could re-apply. The commission did feel that reducing that to nine months from the March 27th test date was appropriate with the caveat that Overeem not apply to fight anywhere else during that nine month period.
This was felt to be the most appropriate course of action given that they didn't feel that he was using it for performance enhancing purposes but did test positive. He will be able to re-apply around the end of December which effectively ends his 2012 campaign without a single fight.
We will have much more reaction in the coming hours and days to this incredible and bizarre hearing.