What happens when you get together Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Floyd Mayweather and The Nevada State Athletic Commission? A bizarre hearing that took place on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the agenda was Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen two fighters who have a long history of testing positive for banned substances and have been at the center of Testosterone and PED drama for years.
In addition, boxing’s pound-for-pound kingpin and Forbes top money earning athlete Floyd Mayweather was on the agenda asking for a promoters license. For Mayweather his appearance and time with the commission was straightforward. In no time he walked away with a unanimous vote of 5-0 for approval of a license for his upstart promotional company and brand TMT Promotions. He also walked away with a “life is good grin”.
The main event of the meeting was definitely Sonnen and Belfort’s time in front of the commission. The two are polarizing athletes inside and outside the UFC’s Octagon. However at the meeting the attention was on members of the commission mainly for their eye brow raising treatment of Sonnen and the business as usual decisions that were given to Belfort.
When Sonnen tested positive for banned substances earlier this year his fight was called off by the UFC and he later announced his retirement. Shortly after he was fired as Fox Sports 1 commentator. At the hearing he received the harshest penalty for a retired fighter. The commission handed down a two year suspension and required him to reimburse the state the cost of drug testing that was administered. In the most severe penalty he was also asked to “help” the commission and provide insight on how fighters “cheat”.
Sonnen did not say much but did state that the rules regarding banned substances are confusing. The State of Nevada adheres to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and their rules and list of banned substances are easily accessible by visiting their website wada-ama.org
or by conducting a simple key word search using the letters W-A-D-A. It was not clear if Sonnen was capable of doing so or ever did during his MMA career.
Belfort a repeat offender and an athlete that has not always been straightforward and accessible to answering questions regarding PEDs or his use of Testosterone pleaded to the commission for the opportunity to fight again. In 2006 he was given a nine month suspension for testing positive for an anabolic steroid known as 4-hydroxytestoterone. In February of 2014 he was randomly tested by the commission and results revealed testosterone levels out of range. As a result his penalty included a license to fight again for a world title against Chris Weidman in December.
How is that for justice? Do you agree with the commission’s ruling? Share your thoughts on twitter @richarddeocio