By Jake Donovan
Kendall Holt is a fighter through and through. Like any prideful warrior, he is prepared to climb off the canvas, dust himself off and fight on.
The former 140 lb. titlist was informed on Thursday that a drug test submitted following last month’s title fight knockout loss to Lamont Peterson produced atypical findings of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, commonly known as hCG. The news came out after a two-week attempt by the Holt camp to obtain test results for both fighters from the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission, who presided over the February 22 ESPN2-televised event.
The news caught Holt by surprise, as he was previously informed by the very same commission that his test results came back negative. He is now fully prepared to clear his name and move on with his career.
“First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I did not knowingly take any P.E.D., nor do I believe I unknowingly took any P.E.D.,” Holt said in a statement. “My camp, at my instruction, requested WADA level testing in connection with my bout with Lamont Peterson. Post bout urine samples were sent to the WADA accredited laboratory testing lab in Salt Lake City (Utah).”
Results were returned to the D.C. commission on March 13. Holt’s camp caught wind of the news and wound up engaged in a back-and-forth exchange in efforts to have the rest results revealed.
“We repeatedly attempted to obtain the lab results from the D.C. Commission, with no success until (Thursday),” Holt informed. “We did, however, receive an email from the Commission stating that both fighters had passed their test. Nonetheless we wanted the actual lab results.”
The local commission cited privacy and confidentiality laws disallowing them to release such information. Holt offered written consent on March 22, but it wasn’t until this past Wednesday when Peterson also consented that the commission could proceed as requested.
“Yesterday (Thursday, March 28) we received those lab results (note: the IBF, who also requested copies given that their title was at stake, received the same results on Wednesday afternoon). The lab results were not identified by fighter but one of the results showed an elevated HCG level. It was labeled as an Atypical Finding.
“There are three levels of findings for WADA testing. There is a “negative” finding, meaning that the athlete has tested “negative” for prohibited substances, there is an “Adverse Analytical Finding,” meaning that there is a prohibited substance, and there is an “Atypical Finding”, meaning there should be further investigation. In part this is because there are certain medical conditions, which can cause elevated HCG levels.”
Information leaked out suggesting that the atypical sample belonged to Peterson, who was fighting for the first time in 14 months. The D.C. native was previously suspended for testing positive for synthetic testosterone during random pre-fight drug testing, which killed his planned rematch with Amir Khan last year.
Holt and his camp admit to have been lead to believing the same was the case for this fight.
“We briefly believed that the test involved was that of Mr. Peterson. In fact it may be mine,” Holt suggests. “At this point, we do not have a full chain of custody report, which we will obtain. We will also, once the full chain of custody report is obtained, have the “B” sample tested.
“Finally, when that is completed we will have the medical tests as indicated by the results.”
Holt (28-6, 16KO) will await the outcome of the “B” sample test results before planning his next move, though it is widely speculated that he will campaign as a welterweight.
Peterson, after having his name cleared, moves on to face Lucas Matthysse on May 18 in Atlantic City. The bout was in negotiations for some time, with location serving as the only hang up. Matthysse – whose two losses both came in his opponents’ home region - refused to travel to D.C.
Given the commission’s recent beleaguered history, it stands to reason that it will be a while before any notable bouts return to the region.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox