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CSAC Upholds Chael Sonnen’s Indefinite Suspension, Possibly Out For Another Year (Update)

So maybe it wasn’t just a formality. Chael Sonnen appeared in front of the CSAC today to appeal an indefinite administrative suspension for questionable testimony he gave to the commission last December in addition to his guilty plea in his federal money laundering case. We’ve seen the CSAC back down on several occasions to anyone who puts up a fight, but today they decided to take a stand. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commissioners voted 4-1 to uphold Sonnen’s indefinite suspension.

ESPN’s Josh Gross and MMA Junkie’s Steven Marrocco were both present at the hearing and tweeted all the details. Some of the highlights:

— Much of the hearing centered around Sonnen’s questionable claim that Keith Kizer gave him permission for testosterone use in 2008. A video clip of Sonnen’s interview with HDNet where he reasserted the claim was played before Kizer testified over streaming video. Kizer said he recalled having a conversation with Matt Lindland about TRT, but Sonnen was never mentioned specifically. Sonnen’s attorney then claimed that Matt Lindland informed Sonnen he was given permission by Kizer, basically blaming the whole situation on Matt Lindland who was not present at the hearing to give his side of the story.

— When it was Sonnen’s turn to testify, he claimed he never intended to make it sound like he spoke directly with Kizer (although that’s exactly what he said in Dec.), and admitted he never directly spoke to anyone at the NSAC about a TRT use exemption.

— Sonnen also testified that a “once in a lifetime opportunity to coach The Ultimate Fighter”, referring to the filming of TUF 14, hinged on whether or not the commission would lift his suspension. Sonnen said the UFC wants him to coach opposite Michael Bisping which would culminate in a number one middleweight contender’s bout later this year. Chael added: “If I don’t get my license today I’m effectively retired. That came from the boss, Dana White… I worked for this chance my whole life. I don’t want to retire today.”

— When asked about his current testosterone use, Sonnen confirmed that his is still taking it and needs it for “survival.” Claims he has the “testosterone of a 93-year old man.”

— After closing arguments and deliberations, Sonnen’s mother was allowed to speak before the commission issued their ruling. She said she’s convinced Chael would not be able to get out of bed if he wasn’t on testosterone.

— The commission then voted 4-1 to uphold Sonnen’s indefinite suspension until June 29, 2011 when his current license expires. The kicker is Sonnen won’t be eligible to reapply for a new license until June 29, 2012. If he chooses to reapply at that time, he will be required to appear in front of the commission to obtain a new license. Sonnen is free to apply for a license elsewhere when the suspension ends, but many commissions such as the NSAC typically honor other commissions’ rulings. It remains to be seen if the UFC tries to book Sonnen in a state or country that doesn’t care what his situation in California is, but I seriously doubt it. That’s not how the UFC conducts their business. Plus, Dana White’s comments, if accurate, indicate they don’t have any intention of trying to promote Sonnen while the situation remains unresolved.

— In reference to Sonnen’s demeanor at the hearing, MMA Junkie’s Steven Marrocco added that “you couldnt imagine a Chael Sonnen more different now than the one we’ve grown to love (and hate).”

Michael Bisping reacts to the news…

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Update: Josh Gross says the June 29, 2012 re-application date is not set in stone yet.

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