By Declan Warrington, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY THOMPSON failed a drug test after the fight that destroyed David Price’s career.
The American heavyweight, who stopped Price in both February and July 2013, then tested positive for a drug which is classified as a diuretic and masking agent.
Price’s prospects have since been in tatters despite him being previously touted as a future world heavyweight champion.
After the second defeat, Price, 32, split with trainers Franny Smith and Lennox Lewis, promoter Kellie Maloney, who cried at the result, and began using a sports psychologist.
His latest attempts to rebuild his career led to a third knockout defeat, earlier this month, against Germany’s Erkan Teper.
Thompson, 43, who called for doping to be legalized before the first fight with Price, has fought four times since.
But his 18-month ban by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) is only enforceable in the UK.
The development will again raise questions about the integrity of modern sport at a time when even Tour de France winner Chris Froome has been treated with suspicion simply for performing well.
Price only learned about Thompson’s failed test on Sunday.
An insider in his camp said the second defeat, and the way Thompson recovered from a heavy second-round knockdown, caused Price to “seriously question himself – he was low, he thought his career was over” and led to his decline.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said yesterday that the delay in Thompson’s failed drugs test coming to light was a consequence of the American’s response to the charge.
It read: “The athlete instigated a lengthy legal process, including filing an appeal which he failed to progress and which was ultimately dismissed.”
Robert Smith, general secretary of the BBBC, said: “This will be discussed at the next board meeting. We’ve had positive tests in the past when decisions are not changed.
“We don’t have a policy of the fighter’s purse being repaid. If the promoter or someone else wants to make a complaint about that we’d have to consider it.”
The decision published by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) also revealed that Thompson argued that the banned substance entered his body through a medication taken for high blood pressure and not to control his weight or hide other substances.
But he didn’t provide sufficient proof from a medical professional to support this.
He also claimed to be unaware that hydrochlorothiazide was banned but was given a 12-month ban by the Austrian Boxing Federation for use of the same substance when fighting Kubrat Pulev in August 2013, three weeks after UKAD contacted him about their case.
Nisse Sauerland of Sauerland Event, Price’s promoter, said: “We’d look to make the fight a no-contest. If he was on a banned substance he shouldn’t be in the ring so the loss shouldn’t be on David’s record.”
Neither Price or Maloney were available for comment yesterday, but it is understood Price is considering his options.