WBA and IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson failed a drug test several months ago, placing his scheduled May 19 rematch against former champion Amir Khan in jeopardy. Now the fate of Peterson vs. Khan II is in the hands of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Peterson and Khan had agreed to random pre-fight drug screening performed by VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. VADA is a relatively new organization founded by Dr. Margaret Goodman, a prominent boxing physician.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions held a media conference call on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the facts of the situation. According to him, an unannounced urine specimen was taken on March 19 by VADA, and was tested at the UCLA laboratories on April 12.
The "A" sample came up consistent with the administration of an anabolic steroid, such as testosterone. VADA then informed Peterson and his team of the test on April 13, and proceeded to test the "B" sample. The B sample wasn't tested until April 30, and the results were the same.
However, a second sample taken on April 13, and tested on May 2, came back negative.
Schaefer said that Peterson and his legal team would be submitting paperwork to the NSAC today, and that the commission will make a ruling on whether or not Peterson vs. Khan II will go on as planned within the next 24-48 hours.
The failed drug test for Peterson was shocking news. Not only had he agreed to the random VADA testing, but it was actually his team's idea to utilize the program for their upcoming fight.
Several prominent fighters have agreed to VADA's program in recent months, and most of them are fighting in or around the welterweight division. The upside for most of these fighters, therefore, is to appease one Floyd Mayweather Jr., who now makes all of his opponents submit to strict pre-fight drug testing requirements.
Clearly Peterson was aware of the drug testing program being in place, so it will be interesting to see what kind of explanation he offers for the test, and whether or not the commission chooses to accept that and license Peterson despite the initial drug test results.
I wouldn't want to speculate one way or another on the legitimacy of Peterson's claims until they are made public. However, they will need to provide some substantial evidence or reasoning to try to keep the fight alive on its upcoming date in Las Vegas.
Sources: Richard Schaefer conference call
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.