by David P. Greisman
When junior-welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson appears before the Nevada State Athletic Commission next month to discuss his testing positive for synthetic testosterone prior to a since-canceled May bout with Amir Khan, the burden won’t be on the commission, but rather on the fighter.
That’s according to the commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer, who spoke to BoxingScene.com last week about Peterson and Andre Berto — whose positive test for nandrolone came in another state, but who would also likely be called before the Nevada commission were he to want to fight there in the near future.
BoxingScene.com: From the Nevada commission angle, what’s next for Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto?
Kizer: “Andre Berto had nothing to do with us; that was a fight in California. As far as Peterson goes, he’s supposed to be on an agenda coming up. He’s unlicensed. He’d applied for a license for that aborted fight in May. He asked to still be on the agenda, even though the fight got canceled, to explain his side. We’re willing to accommodate him. In fact, we want him to be on.
“He was supposed to be on our June agenda, but that date conflicted with his attorney’s calendar, because the governor called a special meeting of a board that he’s the chairman of. So then we moved it to the July meeting, then they allegedly wanted more time to get us more medical information, which is no problem. They’re set to be on our August agenda.
“If he asks for another continuance, it’d be up to the chairman to decide, but from my point of view, take 10 months if you want it to. Take the time you need. You won’t be fighting in the interim. So I’ll assume he’ll get on it quickly and move forward with presenting his case to the commission, but the ball is in his court, as they say.”
BoxingScene.com: The reason I bring up Berto, although he was in a separate state, is whether his positive test in another state will have any bearing if he were to try to fight in Nevada.
Kizer: “Yes, that is true. If he applied here, he’d have to appear before the commission as well, at least for the foreseeable future. Usually these cases are 9 months to 12 months as the time for suspensions for drug cases like this with a failed test. So I would think if he tried to fight here within a 12-month period of his failed test, he would definitely have to appear before the commission.
“Thereafter it may depend on what occurs elsewhere. If he goes somewhere else and fights and gets cleared and passes his test, then that of course would be to his advantage.”
BoxingScene.com: What is it that commission members will be looking for in Lamont Peterson’s testimony when he appears before them?
Kizer: “It’s always the fighter’s burden. We made Mr. Mayweather come before us, Mr. Margarito come before us, and Mr. Tyson in the past come before us when there have been issues. In all those cases — Tyson was before my time — I had the ability in Margarito’s case or Mayweather’s case to issue an administrative license. I chose not to.
“The same situation would appear here as well. I’d have the ability to give Mr. Peterson an administrative license, but I’ve chosen not to. So he’ll have to appear before a public hearing before the full commission. He’ll have to try to convince at least three of them to grant him a license. It’s his burden. It’s a very heavy burden with the circumstances surrounding the application.
“He’ll have to go forward and present. With him, of course there’s really no issue at all with his experience and his skill level. The issue is one of the failed drug test and the admitted taking of a prohibited substance before his prior fight. So he’ll have to answer questions about that. At the end of the day, again, it’ll have to be his burden to convince these commissioners, or at least a majority thereof, that he should be given his privileged license.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected] .