Appeal Denied: Cris Cyborg Santos’ One Year Suspension Upheld by California Commission


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Former Strikeforce featherweight women’s champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos went before the California State Athletic Commmission on Monday to appeal a one-year suspension after testing positive for banned substances for her fight on Dec. 17, 2011, in Strikeforce.

Unfortunately for Santos, the commission wasn’t bending on its original ruling.

Santos and her lawyer appeared in front of the commission asking for leniency after the Brazilian tested positive for stanozolol metabolites after her win over Hiroko Yamanaka.

Santos’ appeal was asking for the commission to reduce her sentence from one year down to six months. According to her lawyer, Santos was up for a potential fight on an upcoming Strikeforce show in “late June/early July” in San Diego.

While Chairman John Frierson seemed like he was leaning towards granting Santos the reduction in her sentence, Dr. VanBuren Ross Lemons was having none of it.

“I have to point out that the use of performance enhancing medications or drugs in this sport is unacceptable and dangerous,” said Dr. Lemons. “It’s one of the most dangerous things we can allow, that we see athletes doing. Intentionally or unintentionally, the opponent was put in undue danger at that match.

“My recommendation is not to reduce the penalty.”

Dr. Lemons also pointed out that in comparison to other states and commissions, California laws only allow a certain amount be penalized in regards to a fine – in this case Santos paid $2500 – and a one-year suspension is considered the “minimum” for a charge like this.

In contrast regarding fines, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was recently suspended nine-months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but was fined a hefty 30 percent of his fight purse, plus the win bonus from his bout in January against Lorenz Larkin. All told, Lawal paid $39,000 to the commission for his transgression.

Once the argument was made, motioned, and seconded, the commission voted unanimously to uphold Santos’ one-year suspension from the sport for her positive drug test.

Based on the date of the fight, Santos would be eligible to re-apply for a fight license after Dec. 17, 2012.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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