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UFC's Chael Sonnen suspended in CA for perjury & money laundering

Well, that took long enough.  

Late last night, ESPN's Josh Gross and MMA Weekly's Damon Martin reported that UFC fighter Chael Sonnen has been suspended in California for the second time.  This time, it's over concerns about his apparent perjury during the hearing to appeal his previous suspension and his guilty plea on money laundering charges.

Fully annotated refresher course time:

CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd told Gross that "My commission is concerned with that because if one commission approves [the use of prescribed medication], it could sway how the vote would have come out.  They're looking at that allegation."  He was a bit more blunt when talking to MMAJunkie's Steven Marrocco, saying "The commission wants to review his testimony, and they felt they need to suspend his license because they felt there was some false testimony given to the athletic commission when he appeared back in December.  That way Chael can come explain himself. Obviously, there were comments made during that commission meeting that have come up to be false, and so we're going to review those, as well.  [...] His license in California will be suspended until the commission feels he's provided rehabilitation, or whatever the commission feels that needs to be done in order to re-grant his license."  He explained to that the new suspension is officially through the expiration of Sonnen's current license and Sonnen decided to appeal when notified of it.

As would be expected since the commissions respect each others' suspensions, Sonnen is effectively suspended in Nevada as well.  Kizer told Marrocco that the Nevada hearing is now on hold pending the results of the California hearing, which will take place a week from today in Los Angeles.  Deputy Attorney General Karen Chappelle will represent the state of California and Dodd will be there to testify if called to do so, since "I'm kind of at the center of certain subject matters that have been brought up, so I'll be there."

To clarify and add to what was already reported, I called Dodd a few minutes ago to ask the questions I had after reading what's come out since last night.

  • The most interesting response was with regards to when he was first made aware of Kizer's comments.  Dodd actually found out during the original hearing, but since he was not sure about what the exact circumstances were, he couldn't testify about it.  
  • The letter to Sonnen notifying him of the suspension was sent during the third week of April.  The timetable was based on working with Kizer to straighten out what happened and what Sonnen's claims have been.  It seemed like the "I meant to say 'my manager,' not 'I'" meeting may have dug him into a much deeper hole.
  • For now, it's an athletic commission matter.  The rest is up to Karen Chappelle.  If she feels that criminal charges are warranted after the commission hearing, then she could move forward with them, but there's no way to be sure for now.  It's only a criminal case if she decides to make it one.
  • Finally, there may or may not be a live video stream of the hearing like there was last time because it's in a different location that's not already set up for that.  It's being looked into and there should be a more concrete answer at the beginning of next week.

It just keeps going and going and going, doesn't it?  I'm still trying to dig up some more information, but I'll stop here for now and put up another post later as I find stuff out.  Chael Sonnen is quite the character who has made quite the mess for himself.

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