The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has suspended former Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko for three years and fined him $10,000 at an appeal hearing in Downtown Los Angeles.

The ex-Bellator champion tested positive for anabolic steroids before he won his second-round knockout against Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 on February 13 in Fresno. The 30-year-old Russian showed elevated testosterone levels in his screening and was suspended indefinitely by the California Athletic Commission in March. The win of Alexander Shlemenko will be overturned into a no contest.

The testing of his urine sample that was screened at UCLA showed Shlemenko had a 50:1 testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. For MMA fighters and boxers in California, anything more than 4:1 is illegal. The steroid Oxandrolone and Oxandrolone metabolites also showed up in the system of Shlemenko and a second test on the sample confirmed the initial results.

News about positive drug test of the former Bellator MMA middleweight champion broke in March. On Tuesday, Shlemenko appealed and the fines and suspension were upheld. This was after Howard Jacobs, the lawyer of Shlemenko, argued that the disciplined could be wiped away as the California State Athletic Commission never collected a B sample from Alexander Shlemenko. Jacobs also said that the suspension of three years was only put on the table just five days before the hearing. During the hearing, Shlemenko denied making the use of banned performance enhancing drugs.

The commission upheld the discipline brought to the table by executive officer Andy Foster since taking a B sample is not a California State Athletic Commission requirement. It was testified by Anthony Butch, the director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, that he has never seen a B sample that didn’t confirm an A sample in a steroid test.

Alexei Zhernakov, Shlemenko’s manager, said they will take things to the next level. Zhernakov remarked we are extremely disappointed with the way this hearing went and went on to add that all the materials that we prepared, they didn’t bother listening to them or reading to them and also said we were not given even a slight chance to give our side of the story.

The Russian mixed martial artist is ranked as the #8 Middleweight in the world by Fight!Magazine. An expert in hand-to-hand combat and traditional Kickboxing, Shlemenko made his professional MMA debut at the age of 20 in 2004. He received the attention of Russian media and fans after he had an impressive 15-2 record after only one year of his professional MMA career.

Shlemenko (51-9, 1 NC) boasts an impressive record of 11-3 (1 NC) with Bellator. He won the Bellator middleweight title in February 2013 and held it until he lost to Brandon Halsey last September. Shlemenko is now thinking about suing the CSAC and said he believes every part of the drug test procedure was flawed from the start. The Russian fighter said he is not considering the opportunity to compete in Russia. Shlemenko is fully aware that taking a fight in Russia would permanently end his U.S. career.

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