More trouble has emerged from The Bubble.
The biggest win in the young career of Joshafat Ortiz could very well come back due to having tested positive for banned substances surrounding his most recent fight. The 24-year old Boricua from Reading, Pennsylvania scored an eight-round win over Joshua Orta in a July 9 ESPN-televised pairing of unbeaten junior lightweight prospects at MGM Grand Conference Center (“The Bubble”) in Las Vegas.
However, BoxingScene.com has learned that his post-fight drug test—as administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)—came back dirty for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Ortiz has been placed on temporary suspension through September 3, with his case to be reviewed for further discipline at the next monthly agenda hearing.
The incident marks the third such drug-testing scandal surrounding the July 9 card alone and the fourth overall since Top Rank—which does not promote Ortiz—began staging closed-doors events in Las Vegas this past June. As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Victor Alberto Rodriguez and Donte Stubbs were both placed on suspension following separate wins, with their cases extended another 30 days as per rulings in the most recent commission hearing earlier this month.
Rodriguez (3-0, 1KOs) tested positive for methylhexaneamine following a four-round win over Justin Horley on June 18. The 19-year old prospect from Stanton, California was placed on temporary suspension by the commission on July 3, and will remain ineligible to fight pending further disciplinary action.
Stubbs—a 26-year old middleweight from Riverside, California—fought twice on ESPN in a span of nine days. His “Bubble” debut resulted in the lone loss of his career, dropping a competitive six-round decision to Isiah Jones on June 30. Stubbs returned nine days later, this time taking the “0” from Fred Wilson Jr. in a six-round decision on the July 9 telecast.
Ortiz and Stubbs were able to make it to the July 9 card before getting caught. The event was to have originally included the ring return of unbeaten Jarrell Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs), the Brooklyn-bred heavyweight who once again made headlines for all of the wrong reasons. A positive drug test for GW501516—also known as cardarine and endurobol—was produced ahead of his canceled bout with Jerry Forrest, who wound up facing and losing to Carlos Takam in the makeshift main event.
Miller remains under temporary suspension with all four cases now to be heard and reviewed at the next commission meeting, which has yet to be scheduled but will likely take place in early September.
As is the case with all drug testing results, Ortiz reserves the right to challenge the findings–be it through requesting the “B” sample to be tested, or through an independent investigation after which time he can present his case to the Nevada commission.
Absent a reversal of the initial findings, Ortiz’s win will be changed to a No-Contest. In accordance with Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 467.157 (Revocation of license) and 467.158 (Penalties in lieu of or in addition to other disciplinary action), he could also be subject to a fine and suspension.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox