by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Less than 24 hours after the news that both competitors in the recent UFC Lightweight Title fight at UFC 73 had tested positive for steroids in their post-fight drug tests, it has been confirmed by the California State Athletic commission that UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk has filed an appeal.
His opponent, Hermes Franca, has also filed an appeal, although based on speaking with CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia, it is likely that Franca’s appeal is to try to lessen the amount of time given for the suspension, which is currently a standard one-year suspension for a positive steroid test.
Armando Garcia spoke to MMAWeekly and confirmed that Sherk called and spoke to him directly and advised of his intention to file the appeal, also claiming that he had never even heard of the steroid Nandralone, the drug he tested positive for according to the commission’s report.
The appeal will be heard in Los Angeles on August 6th in front of the California State Athletic Commission along with many other fighters who have tested positive for steroids, including the afore mentioned Hermes Franca, Phil Baroni and boxer James Toney.
During this appeal process, Garcia confirmed that the commission will not give Sherk another test, be it another urine test or a blood test. Garcia did say that Sherk has the option to do his own independent testing and present that along with any other evidence, witnesses, etc. to the commission when they hear the appeal on August 6th.
Armando Garcia stood by the validity of the tests that were performed on all fighters, mentioning specifically that both the “A” and “B” samples, which will not be tested by the athletic commission’s labs unless in a pristine state, came back positive. Also, in the case of nandralone and testosterone, because they are produced by the human body, the commission will perform an analysis on the sample to review the validity.
In Sean Sherk’s case, the levels for nandralone came back at 12 ng/mL. The average adult will test for nandralone at 2 ng/mL, and an athlete with vigorous activity will test up to 6 ng/mL. Garcia stands behind the fact that Sherk’s test coming back at 12 ng/mL, twice the limit, is more than enough to prove the positive testing correct.
The scheduled hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission will be on August 6th. At this hearing, the appeal will also be heard from Hong Man Choi, who was denied a license prior to his scheduled bout with Brock Lesnar at the K-1 Dynamite show in June, reportedly due to tumors found near Choi’s pituitary gland.