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Sunday, Jul 25, 2004

So Far, Kimo Non-responsive To Nsac Steroid Allegations

So Far, Kimo Non-Responsive To NSAC Steroid Allegations
By Loretta Hunt

Kimo Leoplodo at UFC 48

Having passed a July 23rd deadline, UFC heavyweight veteran Kimo Leopoldo has yet to file a formal response with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) as to allegations of steroid and stimulant use stemming from his post-UFC 48 urinalysis. Leopoldo’s June 28th test results revealed traces of Stanzolol metabolite, as well as the presence of phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine– all deemed drugs and/or stimulants not approved for use by the NSAC. Leopoldo was knocked out by his June 19th opponent Ken Shamrock in the first round of their main event bout.

Under NSAC regulations, a respondent has 20 days from the date he was served a complaint to file an answer with the commission. If a response is not provided within the allotted time, the NSAC deems it "…an admission of all matters and facts contained in the complaint…," as well as a waiver to the right to an evidentiary hearing.

In the past, unarmed combatants have utilized their formal responses to either admit or deny NSAC complaints filed against them, as well as submit an introductory defense on any or all of the claims suggested. Heavyweight fighters Josh Barnett and Tim Sylvia both faced steroid use allegations during their tenures as UFC champions. Barnett chose to contest the charges brought against him, and following a formal hearing in which his representation explained his case, was sentenced to a 6-month suspension. Barnett was subsequently stripped of his UFC title by the promotion. In comparison, a remorseful Sylvia admitted to the allegations put before him, renounced his title, and received a 4-month suspension which he as has since served. Kimo is the fourth mixed martial artist to be handed a NSAC complaint of this kind.

"It could have helped him possibly if he could have had some sort of reasoning," explains NSAC Michael Mersch of Leopoldo’s inability to reply. "Certainly, if he does not file a response, it’s not going to be an aggravating factor. The only thing that filing would have done would have been would be to hopefully explain some of the reasons why it occurred. Assuming that the content had some sort of value to his case or brought up any sort of mitigating factor, then yes, we certainly would have considered it."

Regardless of a late facsimile or phone conversation on Kimo’s behalf in the next day or so, Mersch says the commission is moving forward in processing the fighter’s case. "Assuming that he decides not to file any sort of response, then all of the allegations in the complaint are deemed admitted and the commission will have a short hearing rather than a long one. Mr. Leopoldo will still probably be ordered to appear in front of the commission to respond to the charges." Mercsh anticipates Leopoldo’s case will appear on its agenda in early to mid August, where a formal hearing in front of the -member board will determine disciplinary action for the fighter. Leopoldo’s license to fight in Nevada could be suspended for any period of time deemed appropriate by the Commission, including permanent suspension or revocation of license. In lieu of or in addition to the suspension or revocation of his license, the NSAC can also administer a penalty not to exceed $250,000 or 100% of Leopoldo’s fighting purse, whichever may be greater.

Reaching Kimo late today, the fighter expressed his intent to contact the NSAC, as well as issue a formal public statement as early as tomorrow.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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