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CSAC Issues Press Release Correcting Chael Sonnen's Suspension

OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07:  Anderson Silva kicks Chael Sonnen during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California.  (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Anderson Silva kicks Chael Sonnen during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The CSAC voted to uphold UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen's suspension "indefinitely" in a highly publicized hearing earlier this week. The verdict was that Sonnen would not be able to reapply for a license until June of 2012.

Today, CSAC Executive Director George Dodd issued the following press release:

Chael Sonnen May Apply for License after June 29, 2011

Errors Made in Interpreting Rule 399

"Upon reviewing the May 18, 2011 decision of the Commission, an error in the applicability of Rule 399 was made. The rule states that, "Any applicant who has been denied an application for a license may not file a similar application until one year from the date of the last previous denial by the commission. Any application filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing. Anyone who has had his license revoked may not petition for reinstatement or apply for a new license until one year after the date of such revocation. Any petition for reinstatement filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing." Since the Commission did not revoke or deny Mr. Sonnen’s license, the rule does not apply.

Given that Mr. Sonnen’s license will expire on June 29, 2011, the suspension imposed upon the license will be extinguished by operation of law. Therefore, Mr. Sonnen may reapply for a license at any time following that date. He will, however, be required to appear at a Commission meeting to have his application considered. If the Commission denies his application, Mr. Sonnen will have to wait one year from the date of the denial."

The initial ruling was to uphold his suspension rather than revoke or deny his license. Since Sonnen's license expires next month on June 29, the suspension will simply expire with it, and he'll be free to reapply for a new one. 

It's interesting to note that if Sonnen does lobby to renew his license, and appears at a hearing before the Commission but ends up being denied, he is unable to apply again for one year.

I would imagine that this changes nothing and doesn't open the door for the vaunted coaching spot on TUF versus Michael Bisping that Sonnen and many fans were hoping for. It is highly unlikely that the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who oversees the Spike TV reality show, would approve Sonnen for a renewal, as NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer had a voice in the CSAC hearing on mis-truths in Sonnen's testimony.