by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com

Uncertainty Heading into Sherk Hearing by Tom Hamlin



Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Sean
Sherk is scheduled to appear in front of the California State Athletic
Commission on Tuesday to receive a ruling on his appeal of a yearlong
suspension for steroid use.

Sherk tested positive for Nandrolone shortly after his title
defense against Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in July.

The hearing comes after two delays to the appeal. In August,
Sherk and his lawyer, Howard Jacobs, requested a continuance because they hadn’t
received pertinent information on the case from the CSAC. On Oct. 31, the
commission discovered they were missing Jacobs’ legal brief outlining his
defense. After settling on an initial date of Nov. 13, the commission pushed
back the date to this week.

In an interview at the North American Mixed Martial Arts
Expo, Sherk told MMAWeekly.com that the format of the hearing had been changed.

“Instead of doing it like a court case, like you normally
do, with examinations, cross-examinations, and witnesses, basically they’re
going to take all that out, and my lawyer’s going to do a closing statement,”
he said.

CSAC executive director Armando Garcia confirmed the changes
to MMAWeekly.com.

“My understanding is that the Attorney General is going to
explain the case and the facts as she sees it, then Mr. Jacobs is going to
present his case, and then the Commission will decide,” he said.

Before the commission decides, Sherk will have an
opportunity to make a statement to the Commission. Originally, he was told
that the statement would be in a letter, but learned on Sunday that he would be
allowed to speak directly to the board.

At the Oct. 31 hearing, CSAC council Spencer Walker said
that a ruling would be made on the admissibility of Sherk’s polygraph test.
According to Sherk, his team has not received that ruling.

He is optimistic about the outcome of the hearing, but has
no idea what to expect when he walks into the door on Tuesday.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get until you get
there,” said Sherk. “I’m optimistic because we do have a lot of facts
supporting my innocence. I’ve got more facts than anybody that’s ever come in
front of the CSAC, supporting the fact that I didn’t do anything, plus a
polygraph. A polygraph, in my opinion, is a pretty substantial amount of

It’s clear that he is fighting hard to keep his composure
amidst all of the changes.

“They don’t really have rules and regulations that they have
to follow,” he said of the Commission. “All I want is a fair trial. I just want
an opportunity to present facts that we have, supporting my innocence that I
did not take Nandrolone. That’s all I’m asking, just listen to the facts and
make a fair judgment as far as what you think happened.

“It takes a lot to rattle me, I’ve been real quiet during
this whole process, but when it’s all over with, I can let everyone know how I
really feel about this situation.”