There’s really no other way to say it. What went down today as Alistair Overeem sat before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to explain why he failed a random drug test plays more like a sketch from Saturday Night Live than one would think possible.

From Overeem attempting to run from the surprise test and blaming it on a supposed scheme by Golden Glory, to his choice of doctor, to the vial with its simplistic label, right on through to the fact that the Commission digested all of this and decided to shower Overeem with compliments and gratitude, it was comical.

If only the whole thing had ended with “Live from Las Vegas, it’s Saturday Night…” But it didn’t.

Only the most optimistic of fans and pundits could look at this and still presume Overeem is innocent. The holes in this story are ludicrous, and the circumstances just help to solidify the suspicions of guilt for any reasonable, logical-thinking person.

From the start, suspicions had to be high regarding Overeem’s possible use of performance-enhancing drugs. He managed to avoid being tested on a previous occasion after flying back to Holland to care for his ailing mother. Then he almost bailed on the test he eventually failed—Overeem, claiming to not be aware of the NSAC’s planned random test following a press conference despite the UFC reportedly informing its fighters prior to the event, left immediately following the press conference and only returned when he was told that he’d be presumed guilty should he skip the test. His excuse involved a plot by Golden Glory to cause a scene at the event. Do we really believe that? Avoiding, or trying to avoid, these random tests is not a very convincing way to prove that you’re clean.

Then there are the circumstances of Overeem’s injury and how he pursued treatment.

Overeem opted to see Dr. Hector Oscar Molina for a rib injury based on the advice of mediocre fighter Tra Telligman. I’ll pause while everyone gets their moronic jokes about Telligman being the absolute wrong person to consult for a chest injury out of the way. Telligman’s lack of a pectoral muscle has nothing to do with the misfire in this part of Overeem’s defense, however ironic it might seem to some people. Even the idea of getting a recommendation from a fellow athlete isn’t out of the normal realm of possibilities, but not investing any time to research the doctor?

We’re not talking about Dr. James Andrews, the well-known surgeon from Alabama who has operated on an array of professional athletes and WWE superstars, here. It wasn’t like Overeem was considering going to someone of Andrews’ stature or fame and Telligman chimed in with how the doc has a great bedside manner. If you type Dr. Molina’s name into Google, you do not even have to navigate beyond the first page of results to find plenty of reasons to avoid consulting him—the first search result details a severely botched plastic surgery operation, and you will also find further plastic surgery disasters among those results along with complaints and a reported punishment for illegally prescribing steroids and painkillers over the internet.

And right there: illegally prescribing steroids. Could we have a brighter red flag?

If one were to create a profile of the perfect doctor to avoid in cases of legitimate health concerns, and to consult when one is looking for a not-so-honest edge, Dr. Molina seems to be a solid starting point. Who would seek out treatment for a rib injury from a physician that focuses on plastic surgery and internet drug prescriptions? Why accept a prescription for anti-inflammatory injections from such a person when there are reputable physicians out there that could be consulted? It’s not like Molina is a specialist in chest or rib injuries.

Then there’s the vial. When the Commission asks if the simplistic label was created by Overeem himself, you know you might have a problem. Any legitimate prescription is going to feature a little more print on its label. Now if it came from a shady source, a little less ink might be the norm…just saying.

Finally, there’s the matter of the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s response. While I don’t want to focus on criticizing the sanctioning body, it’s hard not to under the circumstances. A nine-month suspension seems rather lenient in this situation, if for no other reason than because Overeem and his camp made a farce out of this hearing. But it could still be looked at as reasonable, given that many fighters are handed a reduced six-month suspension following an appeal (now, if Overeem gets to appeal and further reduce his sentence, then we have another issue). What’s more troubling is the NSAC showering Overeem with praise and gratitude.

To suggest that they are impressed with Overeem, that he supplied a great defense and to thank him simply for attending his own hearing is an embarrassment. There’s nothing to be impressed about here, certainly not Overeem’s awful lack of judgment.

Photo: Alistair Overeem (L) sits with his lawyer David Chesnoff at the NSAC hearing (MMAjunkie)

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