Zbikowski disputes positive drug test after bout

Tom Zbikowski’s manager said Tuesday the Baltimore Ravens safety
is appealing a positive drug test administered after a weekend
boxing match in Oklahoma.

Zbikowski took another test Tuesday at a Chicago lab that came
back negative, said his manager, Mike Joyce, who hopes the
Chickasaw Nation Gaming Commission overturns a 45-day suspension
leveled against his client.

”We pray that they act in an expedited manner,” Joyce told The
Associated Press. ”We are going to try to keep fighting, to see if
we can get the deal overturned.”

Zbikowski fought Saturday at the WinStar World Casino in
Thackerville in far southern Oklahoma, knocking out Blake Warner of
Oklahoma City in the first round and improving his pro record to
4-0. The casino is owned by an American Indian tribe, the Chickasaw
Nation.

After the second boxing card ever held at the casino, 16
fighters underwent drug tests and five of them came back positive.
Haskell Alexander, the deputy commissioner of the Chickasaw Nation
Gaming Commission, suspended those fighters for 45 days.

Joyce said he’s been told Zbikowski tested positive for traces
of THC, a substance found in marijuana. That test result caught
those connected with Zbikowski off guard, including Hall of Fame
promoter Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank Boxing, which promotes
Zbikowski.

”Anybody could have a trace (of THC),” Arum said. ”If you’re
in a railroad station or an airport and somebody is smoking a joint
and you walk by, you can have a trace. Boxing commissions, knowing
that, have elevated the level (of testing) for marijuana so that it
doesn’t pick up the traces.

”But this one did. I know Tommy doesn’t smoke.”

Zbikowski has undergone numerous tests for banned substances
through the years and has never before tested positive, Joyce
said.

Jeff Keel, the general counsel for the tribe’s Office of the
Gaming Commissioner, told Top Rank officials in an email sent
Tuesday morning that if the five fighters who tested positive
Saturday ”will submit to us a clean drug test in the next couple
of days we will lift their suspensions.”

That’s what Zbikowski did Tuesday, Joyce said.

”We sent it back to the tribal commission, so they can restore
the license,” Joyce said.

Chickasaw Nation Gaming Commissioner Matthew Morgan said all
boxers who fight in tribal facilities are told ”they are subject
to random drug testing during events in our jurisdiction.” He said
the tribe’s policies and procedures ”mirror those of the Oklahoma
Professional Boxing Commission and our third-party inspectors
perform the same testing functions” as they do for the state
commission.

Morgan said fighters ”may submit subsequent drug test results”
to the tribal commission and that he will make the final
determination.

Lee Samuels, a publicist for Top Rank, said Zbikowski’s next
fight is scheduled for June 4 in Los Angeles at the Staples
Center.

Zbikowski, a former Notre Dame star, went 75-15 as an amateur
boxer. He turned pro before his senior season at Notre Dame and won
his first pro bout at Madison Square Garden in New York in June
2006. He soon decided to focus on the NFL and the Ravens picked him
in the third round of the 2008 draft. He’s made 10 starts in 39 NFL
games.