Former Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko’s three-year suspension and $10,000 fine for a failed steroid test has been reduced by the California Superior Court.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com , the court ruled Wednesday that the California State Athletic Commission was only able to suspend Shlemenko until Feb. 28, when his license expired. Additionally, the Russian fighter’s fine was reduced to $5,000; his suspension will be officially lifted when he pays the fine.
Shlemenko failed a drug test following his knockout victory over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 on Feb. 13, 2015. He was revealed to have had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 50:1 in relation to the bout, well above California’s legal limit of 4:1. He also tested positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone. The bout was overturned to a no contest, although Shlemenko has denied using performance enhancing drugs.
Howard Jacobs, Shlemenko’s attorney, successfully argued that the three-year sanction was unfair when the initial letter the fighter received from CSAC notified him of only a one-year suspension. The fine was cut in half because Shlemenko did not make false statements on his license application. However, the court did not agree with Jacobs that Shlemenko’s ‘B’ sample needed to be made available by CSAC.
It is unclear if Shlemenko plans on returning to the Bellator cage once his fine has been paid and his license is reinstated. “Storm” has fought twice under the M-1 Challenge banner since his suspension, earning a pair of victories over Vyacheslav Vasilevsky.