Ever since Floyd Mayweather
Jr. first requested Manny Pacquiao join him in undergoing drug testing (more
stringent than state commission protocols) during their respective training
camps three years ago, “Let the regulators regulate,” has been the cry of those
opposing the independent PED-testing movement. But as 2012 moves into 2013,
state athletic commissions continue to show they cannot be depended on solely
to deliver drug testing reform to the sport through one poor decision after
On Friday, the Washington,
D.C. commission joined that party. RingTV’s Lem Satterfield reported that a
bout between IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson and mandatory challenger Kendall Holt
has been agreed to in principle for a February 22 “ESPN2 Friday Night Fights” card to be
held at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. However, there is a problem: in his
last fight in D.C. on December 10, 2011, Peterson (whose hometown is Washington
D.C.) beat Amir Khan for the WBA and IBF junior
welterweight titles in a closely contested 12-round fight.
In the lead-up to the
rematch, Peterson requested Khan joined him in undergoing training camp testing
to be conducted by the cutting edge Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
Khan agreed and the two men gave blood and urine samples at the press conference
announcing the bout. Peterson’s first sample was found to have contained synthetic
testosterone. He claimed he was given a testosterone pellet by an age clinic
doctor in Las Vegas who gave him a cursory examination and injected him with
the slow-release testosterone pellet before the first Khan fight.
Peterson was scheduled to
have a hearing with the Nevada State Commission, where the Khan rematch was to
be held, but that never materialized. Instead, Peterson has remained out of the
limelight for most of 2012 except for brief discussions about a rematch with
Timothy Bradley that was ultimately nixed.
Following the positive test
and the admission by Peterson that he had synthetic testosterone in his system
during the first fight, he was stripped by the WBA, who returned the belt to
Khan. The IBF, after receiving a comprehensive medical report from Team
Peterson (that included testimony from several noted doctors), decided to let
Peterson keep his belt.
date, Peterson has not had his licensing hearing with the Nevada commission. To
be clear, should Peterson ever want to fight in Nevada, he will have to face
the commission first.
far as the D.C. commission is concerned, the admission that Peterson had a
banned substance in his system (that he did not have a therapeutic use exemption
for) during a world title fight demands action. While Peterson passed the
commission’s drug tests, that fact remains.
Peterson’s testosterone/Epitestosterone levels were measured by VADA during the
testing of his positive sample, his T/E ratio was under the legal limit at
3.77:1 (World Anti-Doping Association regulations allow for a 4:1 ratio while
Nevada and New York allow 6:1). The synthetic testosterone in Peterson’s system
was detected by Carbon Isotope Ratio testing, which is designed to do exactly
statement that Peterson passed the commission testing is certainly true. But
the VADA result shows the commission is not using the right tests, simply for
the fact that Peterson was able to fight with a banned substance in his system
and pass them.
If the D.C. athletic
commission allows this fight to happen without a fine or a suspension of
Peterson first, it is sending a message that even with the admission of banned
substance use, no punishment will be levied.
Some might argue that
Peterson lost out on a million-dollar payday, has not fight in almost a year
and has had his name ruined by the positive test. That is also true.
is also true is that Amir Khan still has a loss on his record to Peterson. He
fought and lost his title to a fighter with a banned substance in his system.
Khan was denied a shot at a rematch due to that positive test. Where is his
Fight fans and experts often
complain about the sanctioning bodies and their many foibles but to date, the
WBA is the only governing body to levy a punishment of any kind against
Last year, the Texas Athletic
Commission forgot to drug test an entire fight card that included title fights.
The New York commission allowed a fight to go forth with not one, not two but four positive tests beforehand. And now
D.C. will allow Peterson vs. Holt.
regulators regulate.” But what if they don’t? What then?