Ex-Bellator Middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko, 31, (51-9 MMA, 11-3 BMMA) was banned from Mixed Martial Arts for three years. The win by knockout against Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 was taken away and he was fined $10,000.
This title loss decision comes after a 7-0 vote Tuesday when Shlemenko appeared to appeal the results of the failed test.
The penalty was recommended to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) when they found a number of drugs in Shlemenko’s system in his post fight urine testing. The drugs included the injectable steroid Trenbolone , Anavar (Oxandrolone) metabolites and testosterone to epitestosterone ratio of 50-1. The allowed amount is 4-1.
CSAC commissioner John Frierson believes it was too dangerous for Shlemenko to be fighting in the first place.
During a recent hearing, Frierson said that the job of the CSAC is to protect the fighters. He also adds that Shlemenko could have killed Manhoef.
Howard Jacobs, Shlemenko’s attorney, thinks his client is being unfairly treated. He said that all of the testing should be thrown out because they didn’t collect “B” samples from a previous Feb. 13 event.
Jacobs said the commission is in violation of an agreement with testing labs that state that you must split the “A” and “B” samples.
The commission fired back by saying that the absences of a “B” sample does not make an “A” sample invalid and that Shlemenko was still in violation of the drug limit rules.
Director of UCLA lab Anthony Butch disagreed with Jacobs as well.
Butch also said that what was found in the bottle was in his system and they never had a ratio at that level that wasn’t a confirming use of synthetic testosterone.
Shlemenko maintains his innocence and said he is didn’t take any performance enhancing drugs and is distraught over the sever damage to his reputation.
Shlemenko plans to sue the CSAC over the suspension. He refuses to take this “unjust” punishment lying down and said there will be a fight in the court of law.
He believes that the Athletic Commission made a mistake, but wouldn’t openly admit to the mistake because they were in an Athletic Commission meeting.
Shlemenko sides with his lawyer on the lack of “A” sample, even stating that there was a lack of “B” sample as well. He also said that participants took five doping tests, but there were only four in the lab. In addition, the testing was not random.
The Russian fighter also states he was offered a shortened one year in exchange for a guilty plea, but he refused the offer.
Shlemenko knows that it will be costly and time-consuming to take the case to court, but he refuses to tarnish his reputation with a guilty plea. He believes no amount of money can buy back his reputation that the CSAC has now ruined, according to him.
He believes defending his honor and reputation is priceless and he would never just say he’s guilty. There’s no amount of money that will make him admit he is guilty of something he is not.
Shlemenko also adds that the level that the report says that was in his system would indicate that he took the drugs immediately before the drug test. He explains that he knew he was taking the test so why would he take a large amount of drugs before a test that he knew about. That would just set him up to be in trouble. He believes that the entire process was a set up for his downfall.
He says suing is his only option because that is where the truth will come out and his name will be restored. He has worked hard for his entire to career to get to this point and he believes he earned that title and would like the title returned to him, as well as his reputation.
Shlemenko had previously been on a losing streak making the title strip and ban even more devastating. His 18-month title reign ended this past September against MMA fighter Brandon Halsey at Bellator 126.
Shlemenko is known for being very vocal and said that he wasn’t convinced of Halsey’s talent. He believes it was his own fault for being overconfident.