CSAC corrects "misinterpretation"; Sonnen eligible to re-apply for license in June of 2011Posted on May 20, 2011, 10:14 PM by Joey Santosus
Earlier this week news broke that the California State Athletic Commission had voted 4-1 to uphold top Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen's indefinite suspension. The decision was based on false testimony given by Sonnen during a previous hearing stemming from a positive drug screening following UFC 117, as well as a felony conviction in his home state of Oregon for money laundering.
According to reports, this meant that the Team Quest fighter would be unable to re-apply for his fighter's license until June of 2012, approximately one year after his current license expired. However, CSAC Executive Director George Dodd issued the following press release today, indicating that the board had "misinterpreted rule 399":
Chael Sonnen May Apply for License after June 29, 2011
Errors Made in Interpreting Rule 399
"Upon reviewing the May 18, 2011 decision of the Commission, an error in the applicability of Rule 399 was made. The rule states that, "Any applicant who has been denied an application for a license may not file a similar application until one year from the date of the last previous denial by the commission. Any application filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing. Anyone who has had his license revoked may not petition for reinstatement or apply for a new license until one year after the date of such revocation. Any petition for reinstatement filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing." Since the Commission did not revoke or deny Mr. Sonnen’s license, the rule does not apply.
Given that Mr. Sonnen’s license will expire on June 29, 2011, the suspension imposed upon the license will be extinguished by operation of law. Therefore, Mr. Sonnen may reapply for a license at any time following that date. He will, however, be required to appear at a Commission meeting to have his application considered. If the Commission denies his application, Mr. Sonnen will have to wait one year from the date of the denial."
Because their ruling upheld the current suspension on his license, instead of revoking or denying it, Sonnen is exempt from the one year waiting period and will be eligible to re-apply in June of 2011.
While this will likely put Sonnen's recent talks of retirement to rest for the time being, if he should re-apply, only to be denied, rule 399 still looms, and will leave the former title contender unable to apply again for one year.
Stay tuned to LowKick.com for more information as it becomes available.
Photo: Chael Sonnen, right, fights Yushin Okami at UFC 104 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on October 24, 2009. Francis Specker