By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has learned that WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson initially passed the normal VADA testing procedures. It wasn't until VADA ran a CIR [carbon isotope ratio] test, that Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone.
The positive test result ultimately led to the cancellation of Peterson's rematch with Amir Khan. The fight was scheduled for May 19th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Both fighters agreed, per the contract terms for their rematch, to take part in a random drug testing protocol.
A lot of the controversy, besides the positive test result, is being focused on the lack of communication between the involved parties.
Peterson was given the testosterone pellets prior to the first fight with Khan, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer, citing Peterson’s attorney Jeff Fried. The fight first took place on December 10th in Peterson's hometown of Washington, DC. According to Team Peterson, the boxer's doctor gave him the pellets after his testosterone levels were found to be low.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, making a statement Tuesday on a conference call, said the testing had been done unannounced at the March 19 press conference in Los Angeles announcing the fight. The samples from Peterson and Khan were taken to a WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) drug testing lab in Los Angeles and split into “A” and “B” samples, Schaefer said.
The “A” results were reported back to the Volunteer Anti Doping Association, or VADA, on April 12. Peterson’s team was told of the results on April 13 and told of his rights to have his “B” sample analyzed. That analysis was done on April 30, Schaefer said. That test confirmed the results of the “A” sample analysis, Schaefer said — that the sample was consistent with administration of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone. Schaefer said follow-up samples were taken from Peterson on April 13. Those samples came back negative for banned substances on May 2, Schaefer said.
When VADA initially had the samples from March 19th tested, Peterson passed with flying colors. BoxingScene has obtained a letter dated March 27th, where VADA advised the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Peterson tested "negative" for performance enhancing drugs.
According to Kizer, Peterson's doctor maintained the boxer's testosterone level at "3.77 to 1" which stays below VADA's acceptable testosterone ratio of 4 to 1 and below the NSAC's acceptable ratio of 6 to 1. In other words, Peterson was capable of passing the normal testing procedures of VADA and/or the Nevada commission. Once VADA ran the CIR test, which detects synthetic testosterone regardless of the ratio level - his sample came up as positive. This incident further displays how an athlete, boxer or otherwise, can bypass normal testing procedures, even when those tests are done by an organization like VADA or otherwise.
"He passed the initial VADA tests, the basic tests, steroids - which included the T/E ratio - and we already know that because his doctor kept him at [a testosterone ratio of] 3.77 to 1. And I think that you and I can discern from that whether or not it was intentional or coincidental. Not only did his doctor keep him at 3.77 to 1, which means he can pass a normal test but he did pass a normal test. He beat the VADA test, the normal VADA test, which is 4 to 1 ratio just like WADA. Thankfully they did a CIR test, and he tested positive for that," Kizer told BoxingScene.com.
The Nevada commission was first made aware of Peterson's positive test result on the morning of May 7th. VADA sent a letter, dated May 4th, by fax and Federal Express.
However, NSAC's Keith Kizer tells BoxingScene that although VADA's letter is dated May 4th - the actual letter was faxed on May 5th, a Saturday. The NSAC's office is closed on Saturday and Sunday, which led to a delay of several days before the commission read the letter. In terms of Federal Express, the letter was sent "next business day" and not "same day service."
"I got that letter on March 28th, that he passed. I knew nothing else until the FedEx guy came on May 7th with that letter [from VADA]," Kizer said. "If that letter would have been faxed on Friday, I could have told Richard [Schaefer] the same day and he would have had three extra days to find a replacement for Peterson."
"Give [VADA] an "A" for collection and testing, but they get nowhere near an "A" for reporting. That [March 28th] letter didn't say 'he passed and we're still running a CIR.' [VADA head Margaret Goodman] told me on March 28th 'he passed his March test' and I was none the wiser until May 7th, and neither was anybody else [the wiser] other than Team Peterson."
Schaefer, in an earlier BoxingScene article , expressed his anger with VADA and Team Peterson for not being informed of the positive test result until May 7th. Schaefer is confident that his company would have secured a replacement opponent, and saved the event, if VADA and/or Team Peterson would have advised him of the positive test on April 13 or around that time period.