by David P. Greisman
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions held a hastily assembled telephone conference all Tuesday afternoon to make a statement about the news that Lamont Peterson had tested positive for a banned substance ahead of his May 19 rematch with Amir Khan.
Schaefer said he received a phone call Monday from Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, letting him know about a letter the commission had received over the weekend from the VADA (Voluntary Anti Doping Association) drug-testing agency.
That letter said Lamont Peterson had tested positive for a substance consistent with the administration of steroids.
Schaefer said Peterson’s attorney, as well as two representatives of VADA, were copied on the letter.
“I was not informed,” said Schaefer, who said that he found it shocking that he was not told of the test until Monday, and that Khan’s team hadn’t been told of it either.
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 VADA on April 12. Again, Schaefer said, he was mystified that he was not told of the results.
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.
"Why we were not informed until yesterday, and not even by VADA but by the commission, is a mystery to me. VADA informed the athlete, informed Lamont Peterson, of the adverse analytical finding on April the 13th. VADA got the results on the 12th and informed Peterson of the 13th of April. They advised him of the right to have the B sample analyzed. The process of analyzing the B sample began at the laboratory on April 30th of 2012. Why it took from April 13 to the 30th to actually go and test the B sample is again a mystery to me. If I would have been informed about it, I certainly would have asked for an expedited testing," Schaefer said.
Schaefer said a representative for Lamont Peterson was present when the “B” sample was tested.
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.
"There were follow-up samples taken by Peterson on April 13th. And the laborartory reported that the April sample came back as negative on May the 2nd. So while the first ones were positive, the second one showed a negative. And that really is all that we know," he said.
Schaefer said Peterson’s attorneys are submitting paperwork this afternoon “explaining themselves” and why that substance was found in the fighter’s system.
Peterson’s team will then present its case to the athletic commission for a ruling, Schaefer said.
"I discussed with Keith Kizer what is next. He informed me that Peterson's attorneys and legal representation would be submitting paperwork this afternoon to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, explaining themselves, explaining why there was a substance and based on the paperwork and statements from Team Peterson, they will then present that to the commission and the chairman will then rule whether there will be a fight or not," he said
"I think maybe by tomorrow, or at latest the day after, we will know where we stand. For the time being, Amir Khan continues to train. He was in the gym yesterday and was running this morning. He is fully aware [of the situation] and he is obviously disappointed but he is going to follow whatever that athletic commission of Nevada is going to rule."
"My full focus is to work with the Nevada commission and get to the bottom of this and do what's right. This demonstrates the importance of random drug testing and how important it is for our sport. This is not about hitting a baseball or running faster or jumping higher. this is toe-to-toe battle, where one's life is at risk every time these young athletes enter the ring"
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]