It is going to be a long time before we see Alexander Shlemenko (pictured) inside the cage again. On Tuesday, the California State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to suspend the former Bellator middleweight champion three years after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone and the steroid oxandrolone following February’s highlight reel knockout over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133.
Shlemenko was also docked $10,000.
The 31-year-old will not be eligible to return until February 13 2018.
According to the initial report, Shlemenko’s testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio was a “significantly elevated.” However, the exact numbers were not disclosed. The state currently allows a 4:1 ratio.
Prior to getting submitted by a well-past-his-prime Tito Ortiz in May 2014, Shlemenko was widely considered one of the world’s best middleweights not competing in the UFC. The Russian had won 19 of 20, including 13 consecutive before getting upset by Ortiz.
Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com, who attended today’s hearing, first reported Shlemeko’s punishment.
The CSAC has decided to follow the lead of the Nevada Athletic Commission in levying harsher punishments for performance-enhancing drug abusers. Before Nevada’s monumental decision, Shlemenko would likely have been banned just one year retroactive to his fight date.