With a May 19 bout in Las Vegas on the line, boxer Lamont Peterson’s lawyer is telling Nevada boxing regulators the champion fighter’s failed doping test in March stemmed from an ”inadvertent” failure to disclose medical treatment last November for low testosterone levels.
In a letter obtained late Tuesday by The Associated Press, Washington, D.C.-based attorney Jeff Fried told the Nevada Athletic Commission that Peterson’s doctor determined that a one-time ”therapeutic” treatment ”would not produce a significant enhancement of athletic performance.”
Peterson, of Washington, defeated Amir Khan in a disputed split decision in December in the nation’s capital to become the WBA and IBF junior welterweight champion.
Peterson’s scheduled rematch next week with Khan in Las Vegas was in doubt after a urine test in March found unacceptably high levels of synthetic testosterone in Peterson’s system, Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said Tuesday.
Kizer said Peterson (30-1-1, with 15 KOs) would have faced routine approval in the next several days for the fight scheduled next week at the Mandalay Bay resort. Now, it would be up to the five-member commission to hold a special meeting to accept Peterson’s explanation and grant a license for the Khan bout. The panel isn’t currently scheduled to meet until May 21.
”Lamont has never had a positive anti-doping test either before (or) after this isolated occurrence,” Fried said in the letter that appears to apologize for the failed test but doesn’t specifically seek a commission hearing.
Fried didn’t immediately respond to an after-hours message seeking comment.
The letter cited the findings of three doctors and said more tests were scheduled Wednesday.
Peterson ”should not be penalized by the commission based on the facts as summarized in this letter and within the medical correspondence,” Fried said.
Two tests of Peterson urine samples by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association reached the same finding, according to a report Kizer said he received Monday from Dr. Margaret Goodman, VADA chief executive and a former ringside physician.
”Unless there’s some real obvious and legitimate reason for the positive test, he’s not fighting,” Kizer told AP early Tuesday.
Khan’s promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions in Los Angeles, called it premature to say whether the Peterson-Khan fight will be held.
But if Peterson can’t fight, Khan won’t face a substitute opponent, Schaefer said.
”If he is allowed to fight, obviously we will fight,” Schaefer said. ”We’re going to wait to see what the Athletic Commission decides. It would be impossible to find an opponent within a week and a half for a fight of this caliber.”
Goodman and Dr. Edwin ”Flip” Homansky, a former Nevada Athletic Commission member also affiliated with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, declined to comment on Peterson’s test results. They cast VADA as a neutral testing agency.
Peterson and Fried were notified April 13, but didn’t share word of the first positive steroid test by the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in Los Angeles.
”It appears as though Mr. Peterson and Mr. Fried … chose not to notify third parties at that time in the hope that Mr. Peterson’s ”B” sample would test negative,” Goodman said.
The document said the second test was conducted at the UCLA Olympic lab April 30 with at least one Peterson representative present.
Khan (26-2, with 18 knockouts) lost his WBA and IBF belts in a split-decision loss to Peterson on Dec. 10, but was granted a rematch after complaining about the referee’s decision to deduct him two points for pushing. He also was upset by the presence of an unauthorized man at ringside who was seen distracting an official.