Alistair Overeem Steroid Defense Strategy Successful at Appeal Hearing

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UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem appealed his suspension for anabolic steroids before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on April 24, 2012. He failed to win his appeal before the NSAC members. NSAC officially denied his license and made him wait nine months before he could re-apply. However, Overeem’s defense strategy was relatively successful given the circumstances.

Overeem had already admitted using an injectable form of testosterone prescribed by his doctor. Overeem used the boring and unoriginal defense that he did not knowingly or intentionally use anabolic steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs. He asked the NSAC to believe that his injection of steroids into his deltoids was accidental.

So, to have his suspension reduced to nine months with the NSAC tripping over themselves to tell Overeem that he was such a great guy was a remarkable achievement for Overeem and his attorney David Chesnoff.

David Chesnoff, a criminal defense attorney and partner at Chesnoff & Schonfeld in Las Vegas, is no stranger to representing celebrities and famous athletes.

Chesnoff called Overeem’s personal physician, Dr. Hector Oscar Molina to testify. We expected Molina was scheduled to testify in Overeem’s defense. However, Dr. Molina provided one of the most embarrassing and pitiful justifications for the prescribing practices that led to Overeem’s failed testosterone:epitestosterone ratio (T:E ratio) test result.

It turns out that Dr. Molina was likely set up as the “fall guy” used to take the blame for Overeem.

Dr. Molina admitted prescribing and injecting Overeem with a questionable mixture of Toradol, Dexamethasone and testosterone suspension as a treatment for an aggravated rib injury. Toradol and Dexamethasone are used as anti-inflammatories but the use of testosterone is not recognized or approved by the FDA for “healing” purposes.

Dr. Molina could not recall informing Overeem that the injectable solution contained the anabolic steroid testosterone. Overeem apparently never asked.

Dr. Molina came across as a dubious and questionable doctor during his testimony. His answers failed to provide any justifiable explanation for the use of steroids by Overeem. This would seem to work against Overeem.

However, Molina performed so poorly that the commissioners must have felt Overeem was simply the victim of a quack doctor. Perhaps, this was the strategy designed by Chesnoff.

Commissioner Pat Lundval was so impressed by Overeem’s presentation during the NSAC proceedings that she referred to Overeem a “smart guy”. Perhaps she was simply overcompensating in her attempt to reverse her racist “do you speak English” remarks directed at King “Mo” Laval during a steroid hearing earlier this year.

The NSAC stated that Overeem did a “superlative” job defending himself before the committee. They commended him for telling the truth about his unfortunate experience. They seemed to think that Overeem was a great guy who simply surrounding himself with questionable characters like Dr. Molina. They advised him to seek “high-quality and high-caliber” professionals in the future.

Dr. Molina may have looked bad during the hearing but the NSAC looked even worse when they fawned over Overeem.

UFC Alistair Overeem