Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer irate over Lamont Peterson’s failure to disclose positive drug test

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

A failed drug test by Lamont Peterson that was announced on Tuesday forced cancellation Wednesday of the scheduled May 19 super lightweight title bout planned for Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas between Peterson and former champion Amir Khan.

Peterson tested positive for a synthetic testosterone following a March 19 random drug test. The results were obtained by the Voluntary Anti-Drug Association, which was overseeing the testing, on April 12. Peterson was informed that his A sample tested positive the next day. On April 30, his B sample was tested and came back positive on May 2. Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy Promotions chief executive officer, said he only discovered the positive test on Tuesday.

Schaefer was irate that he hadn't been notified by Peterson or anyone from  VADA about the tests. He said if either had let him know, he could have found a suitable replacement. Because of Nevada open meeting law requirements, the earliest a hearing could be held on whether Peterson could be licensed was Tuesday, May 15, which would have been too close to the fight for Schaefer to proceed without assurances Peterson would be licensed.

"We absolutely had the right to be informed and we were not, by several parties," Schaefer said. "Why, I don't know, but this was critical information and Golden Boy should have been informed."

In an email to Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday, Goodman wrote, "I have great admiration for Richard, but his characterization of the contractual situation is inaccurate." That followed on the heels of a statement she issued Tuesday to the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which she denied there was a requirement on VADA's part to notify anyone other than the fighter who failed the test.

VADA felt it was inappropriate for it to notify third parties of the positive test result at the time because there had been no confirmation of it. It appears as though Mr. Peterson and Mr. [Jeff] Fried, [Peterson's attorney], also chose not to notify third parties at that time in the hope that Mr. Peterson's 'B' sample would test negative. As soon as Mr. Peterson's 'B' sample tested positive, VADA notified Mr. Peterson, Mr. Fried and the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Neither Golden Boy Promotions nor HBO was a signatory to the VADA contract.

Schaefer admitted he did not have a signed contract with VADA. But he said that he had been sent a contract via email from Goodman that did include a clause requiring notification to Golden Boy.

He said that though the contract wasn't signed, "VADA performed under the contract. [It] took payment and it went forward with the testing."

He emailed Yahoo! Sports the clause pertaining to notification, though not the full contract.

Samples collected will be collected in duplicate (an "A Sample" and a "B Sample") with only the A Sample being tested unless the A Sample tests positive for a substance banned by VADA in which case GBP and the offending Athlete shall be notified so both can be present for the testing of the B Sample.

Because Peterson did not hold a Nevada license and had not applied for one, he can not be penalized, at least at the time. Unlike UFC fighter Alistair Overeem, who was denied a license last month and not allowed to re-apply for one for nine months after he failed a random drug test, Peterson had never formally requested a hearing in front of the commission. As a result, the commission has no jurisdiction over him.

However, the issue won't go away and Peterson's ability to box anywhere in the future will almost certainly be impacted by the failed test. When he applies for a license again in the future, he'll almost certainly be hauled in front of a state athletic commission to explain what led to the cancellation of the Khan fight.

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