California upholds Sonnen suspension

John Morgan and Steven Marrocco/MMAjunkie.com
Yahoo! Sports

One-time UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen will not be competing in the octagon anytime soon.

The California State Athletic Commission today ruled to uphold Sonnen's indefinite suspension, citing both a recent federal money-laundering conviction, as well as some questionable testimony following a positive result in a post-UFC 117 drug screen.

The CSAC made their ruling during today's special meeting, which took place at the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles. The motion passed with a vote of 4-1.

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Sonnen can not reapply for a license before June 29, 2012. Should he elect to do so, he'll have to once again appear before the CSAC.

Following the ruling, Sonnen a request for comment by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

During today's testimony, Sonnen revealed the UFC was targeting him as a potential coach on the soon-to-film 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Sonnen said the UFC planned to pit him against outspoken British striker Michael Bisping, and the two would meet in a No. 1 contender matchup at the end of the season.

Today's ruling likely nixes that option, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission – which holds jurisdiction over the participants in "TUF," which films in Las Vegas – generally upholds the rulings of other prominent commissions. Sonnen suggested during testimony that a failure to secure a license at today's hearing would likely lead to his retirement.

This past December, Sonnen was suspended six months and fined $2,500 by the CSAC for elevated levels of testosterone following his near-upset of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The term marked a reduced sentence from the one-year term he originally received.

In January, the CSAC suspended Sonnen's license indefinitely for his conviction on a federal charge of money laundering, as well as "providing false testimony" during an appeal hearing held this past December.

Sonnen was due to appear in April before the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the possibility of receiving a fight license. Sonnen was expected to answer questions about statements he'd made during the CSAC hearing – namely, whether he'd gotten approval for his use of prescribed testosterone prior to his fight with Nate Marquardt at UFC 109, which took place in Nevada.

NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer claimed Sonnen had not been truthful in telling the CSAC that he had received approval from the Nevada commission prior to testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his title fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117.

MMAjunkie.com will have more on this story later today.

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