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Alexander Shlemenko’s drug suspension to be lifted after court ruling

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Alexander Shlemenko will be able to fight again in the United States much sooner than expected.

The former Bellator middleweight champion had his three-year suspension and $10,000 fine from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) reduced in a court decision Wednesday, per court documents. Shlemenko tested positive for steroids in February 2015 and was levied the sanctions by a unanimous commission vote in June 2015.

The California Superior Court ruled that CSAC was only able to suspend Shlemenko until his license expired back on Feb. 28.. Shlemenko will also have to pay only a $5,000 fine. The Russian fighter’s suspension will be lifted as soon as he pays the fine. Shlemenko is still under contract with Bellator, per promotion spokesperson Danny Brener.

Shlemenko’s attorney Howard Jacobs argued that Shlemenko was unfairly given a three-year suspension when the initial letter of notification sent to him by CSAC read that he only faced a one-year suspension. The court agreed that CSAC was not legally able to increase the length of the sanction after the appeal process.

Shlemenko, 32, was initially fined $10,000, half due to him making alleged false statements on drug-testing documents. Jacobs argued that the commission rules state that fines can only be doled out if an athlete makes false statements on a license application. The court agreed with that as well and took $5,000 off the original fine.

However, Jacobs’ arguments that CSAC was biased in its process and needed to make available a ‘B’ sample as part of drug-testing protocol were rebuffed by the court. The decision to discipline Shlemenko was upheld.

The original sanctions came after Shlemenko tested positive for the steroid oxandrolone in a fight night sample collected in relation to his Bellator 133 main event fight with Melvin Manhoef on Feb. 13, 2015. Shlemenko’s testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was 50:1, one ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting