In the most bizarre state athletic commission since the California State Athletic Commission met with boxer Antonio Margarito to discuss reinstatement of his license following his hand wrap loading controversy, the same CSAC met to discuss Chael Sonnen and Josh Barnett's current MMA license status. Barnett's time in front of the commission did not go smoothly as he claims he was "ambushed" when he didn't show up with legal council. It was a bad move on Barnett's part and ended with him being granted a continuance.
As for Sonnen, who tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his impressive last minute loss against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, it was a different story. The commission seemed unsure of it's own rules and procedure throughout the proceedings and in the end decided by a vote of 3-1 to reduce his 12 month suspension to 6 months. Sonnen contested that he had been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy by his doctor. The fact that he failed to disclose this information via standard means did not end up hurting Sonnen as he can return to action as soon as March.
Bix at SBNation's Cage Side Seats followed up on some of the controversy with the UFC's Keith Kizer:
While Chael Sonnen got his suspension cut in half at his hearing with the California State Athletic Commission this afternoon, he may have gotten himself in more trouble thanks to a statement about a conversation he claimed to have had with Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Sonnen claimed that he had spoken to Kizer about his use of testosterone as part of hormone replacement therapy, had the use approved by Kizer, and was told by Kizer that he didn't need to mention it again. At the very least, Kizer had already told me that Sonnen had never requested a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone when it was revealed that Sonnen's claim would be based around testosterone replacement therapy. With Sonnen's claim on the record involving a conversation with Kizer, I got in touch with him again to get his thoughts on what Sonnen said today.
He immediately noted that "I have never talked to Chael Sonnen in my life," regardless of the subject. With regards to Sonnen's licensing in Nevada when the California suspension expires, he added that it would have to wait until after the California suspension expires, and then "if Mr. Sonnen wants to get a license here in Nevada, it's probably best if he appears before our commission as opposed to me giving him one administratively." As far as the comments during the hearing could be an issue: "Possibly. I mean anything's a possible issue, but yeah, it's probably best that he appears before the commission and explains what he meant by that. I'm very confused."