Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal‘s fate was handed down to him at a hearing held by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. The hammer was dropped on the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.
Lawal appeared before the commission to answer for a positive steroid test stemming from his Jan. 7 bout and win over Lorenz Larkin in Strikeforce.
The former champion explained to the commission that he had taken a supplement sold to him at a general fitness store, but was unaware that the ingredients could potentially lead to a positive drug test result.
The commissioners consistently pointed back at Lawal’s own responsibility to research the supplements he puts into his body, and aimed directly at the product he was taking as clearly having illegal substances in it.
The nearly 30-minute question and answer period ended with Commissioner Pat Lundvall suggesting a hefty fine, suspension and changing the win over Larkin to a no contest.
Lawal, who appeared before the commission, thanked them for their time and said he was accept whatever their final verdict happened to be.
“I appreciate you letting me come and tell my side of the story, and whatever punishment you all took for me, I’m a man, and I’ll take it like a man,” said Lawal.
The final judgment will not only cost Lawal several months of his fighting career, but a huge chunk of the money he made from the fight with Larkin back in January.
The commission voted unanimously to take Lawal’s win bonus from the fight, which was $15,000, and also fine him 30-percent of his fight purse, which equals out to $24,000. The total fines assessed against Lawal equaled $39,000 of the $95,000 he originally made.
In addition to the fines handed down, Lawal will be suspended for nine months starting retroactively from the date of the fight, which was Jan. 7, 2012.
The fight with Lorenz Larkin will also be overturned from a win to a no-contest.
Lawal will also have to complete a pre-fight drug test once his suspension is up in September, or whenever he sets forth to compete again in the state of Nevada, prior to being allowed to receive a license.
Commissioner Skip Avansino offered up words of encouragement to Lawal once the hearing was over, but also offered some stern advice regarding any supplements taken in future endeavors.
“Mr. Lawal, I’m sorry for our judgment and I think you understand how we got there. We have not distinguished your situation from others that have had similar violations of ingesting nandrolone, and many from stores similar to where you bought this. Unfortunately, a number of these items that we buy, all of us at these nutritional stores, have inappropriate banned substances in them. I don’t know how to prevent it except to suggest to all to study carefully what you take before you take it,” said Avansino.
“I’m sorry that we’ve had to give you this judgment today, we think a lot of you, you’re a champion, we know we’ll see you again.”
Lawal will now serve out his sentence that will be lifted in September 2012, and at that point he can re-apply for a license and return to action. The former Strikeforce champion also recently underwent several knee surgeries and had to deal with a nasty staph infection that caused him serious medical issues as well.
There’s been no definitive word on when he would be able to return to action regardless due to his current knee injury. For now, Lawal will be required to sit out until at least Septmber 2012 when his suspension from the Nevada Commmission is lifted.