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Chael Sonnen avoids lifetime ban and hefty fine, gets two-year suspension and must reimburse NSAC for drug testing expenses

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"The American Gangster" was forced to appear before Nevada's governing body today in order to answer for his failed drug tests. Here's what happened.

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) two-time middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen appeared before Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) earlier today (Weds., July 23, 2014) to answer for a pair of failed drug tests that not only bounced him from UFC 175, but also earned him walking papers from UFC and FOX Sports.

For our live blog and updates from today's hearing click here.

Sonnen -- who admitted early into the proceeding that he was "ashamed and guilty" -- faced a maximum penalty of $250,000, but was able to escape the hearing with a two-year suspension of his license, retroactive to June 17, 2014.

While he won't receive a monetary penalty -- outside of picking up the bill for drug testing expenses -- Sonnen will be required to work with NSAC on developing protocol for cleaning up the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Here's a quick summary to that effect via UFC's social news account:

After testing positive for Anastrozole and Clomiphene -- which he claimed was used to help start a family -- "The American Gangster" was popped for the performance-enhancing banned substances human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). It cost him a job with UFC, as well as FOX Sports 1, which the commissioners calculated into his "punishment."

New NSAC member Anthony Marnell actually called for lifetime ban of Sonnen, but ultimately backed down and voted along with the proposed punishment, which was passed unanimously.

Sonnen is already retired, but will still remain active as a grappler for Metamoris.