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.