Former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos has filed to appeal the one-year suspension issued by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) following a failed drug test that led to the removal of her title, according to reports from Sports Illustrated.
Santos' manager reportedly began the process earlier this week, requesting a hearing to be directed by CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd on April 9th, 2012. A venue has not yet been selected.
"Cyborg" tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, in the aftermath of her December 17th title defense against Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal. The 26-year-old promptly received a $2,500 fine, a one-year suspension and the win was reversed to a "no decision."
"I would like to sincerely apologize to Strikeforce, the Zuffa organization, Hioko Yamanaka and my fans for my failed drug test," Santos said after the ruling. "I am ultimately responsible for everything I put in my body, and at the end of the day, there is no excuse for having a prohibited substance in my system."
Despite her expression of regret, Santos has thus far maintained her innocence, stating that the failed test resulted from "a dietary supplement that I was assured was safe and not prohibited from use in sports competition."
Meanwhile, the Strikeforce women's featherweight division has essentially been put on hold while the matter is solved. Santos is reportedly staying in Brazil for the time being, and will return to the United States on February 20th.
"She's at home in Curitiba, surrounded by family who supports her wholeheartedly," the fighter's manager explained. "She's recalibrating and trying to put her head around the suspension."