See you in 2022, Jarrell Miller.
After months of seeing his case remain under temporary suspension, Brooklyn’s Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) was formally disciplined for his latest drug testing scandal. The disgraced former heavyweight contender was hit with a 24-month backdated suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) during its monthly commission hearing held Wednesday morning via remote conference call.
The five-member panel of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)—Chairman Anthony A. Marnell III and commission members—Staci Alonso, Christopher Ault, Dallas Haun and Stephen Cloobeck—voted unanimously to the terms presented. Miller will have the opportunity to reduce the sentence by six months, though still leaving him out of the ring until January 2022 at the earliest.
“The terms of this agreement include a 24-month suspension, subject to modification,” Mike Detmer, attorney general for the state of Nevada noted during Wednesday’s hearing. “The respondent will pay for and complete a random drug testing program approved by Nevada. He must also pay for and complete substance abuse program, which is no less than five hours and places an emphasis on psychological and physiological negative effects of PED use.”
Under such conditions, Miller will have to submit to no fewer than two random drug tests per month for six consecutive months in order to complete the program. He is also required to pay legal fees of $399.74 for the five months in which the case has been on the docket.
Wednesday’s resolution puts to end five months’ worth of temporary suspensions issued to Miller, whose case appeared on the monthly agenda budget at least twice before only for the case to be further delayed.
Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) provided a testing sample in late June which came back positive for the banned substance GW501516—also known as cardarine and endurobol—ahead of his scheduled July 9 clash with Jerry Forrest. The bout was to have aired live on ESPN from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, marking his first ring appearance since November 2018 as well as his debut under the Top Rank banner.
Instead, Miller fell back to old habits—having previously tested positive for GW501516 and several other substances last March ahead of his missed June 1 title fight versus then-unbeaten Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. Because he wasn’t officially licensed at the time by the New York State Athletic Commission, Miller avoided punishment other than his license application being denied.
Miller wound up missing out on a $6.5 million financial package to be split between his team, along with guaranteed seven figure paydays for his next two fights no matter the result. Joshua would go on to face Andy Ruiz, who shocked the world in a 7th round knockout to become the first-ever Mexican boxer to win a piece of the heavyweight throne.
While not under suspension by any governing body, Miller and his team honored a six-month faux suspension issued by the World Boxing Association (WBA) in hopes of returning to the rankings later that year. From there came the attempt to return to the ring, as Miller—co-promoted by Greg Cohen and Dmitry Salita—entering a promotional agreement with Top Rank, whose heavyweights under its banner include unbeaten lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Any such plans of a brighter future with a new promoter were shot to sunshine when Miller once again came up dirty this past summer. His sordid drug history was addressed by the commission, having also tested positive for a banned substance for a June 2014 kickboxing event in Inglewood, California for which he was suspended for nine months.
“This is Miller’s third situation like this,” pointed out Commissioner Haun prior to rendering his vote. “I applaud what is put together. If it happens again in Nevada, our approach should be much more severe.”
Miller was replaced in the July 9 fight by Cameroon’s Carlos Takam, who outpointed Forrest over 10 rounds to move one step closer toward another sought title shot.
Ironically, Forrest also tested positive for a substance deemed illegal by Nevada testing standards, with his post-fight urinalysis showing evidence of cannabidiol in his system. Forrest was issued a $9,900 fine and a six-month suspension, the latter which expired on November 23.
Miller’s case will run much longer, even with the generous reduction provision included in the final verdict. He has not fought since a 4th round knockout of Bogdan Dinu in November 2018, which will leave him without a fight for at least 37 months should he comply with all drug testing and counseling sessions as mandated by the NSAC.
Whereas he avoided discipline in New York last year, Miller found himself before the strictest commission in the United States for this event. The fight was submitted to the NSAC who approved the event on the condition that Miller be treated as a licensed boxer, which subjected him to random drug testing as ordered by the commission.
With that, Miller’s suspension must be honored by any governing body which falls under the auspices of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), which means every commission in the United States and its territories.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox