Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Khan discusses drug testing, Pacquiao, Peterson

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NEW YORK–  RingTV.com conducted a Q&A with former IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder, Amir Khan, of England, at ringside prior to this past Saturday night’s HBO-televised 11th-round knockout by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez over Mathew Macklin in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

On Monday, Khan (26-2, 18 knockouts) will be in Los Angeles completing the third and final stage of a three-city tour promoting his May 19 rematch with Lamont Peterson, who dethroned him by split-decision for the belts in December in Peterson’s native Washington, D.C.

Khan and Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) were in London on March 13, and in Washington, D.C., on March 15 before Khan came to New York for last Friday’s Martinez-Macklin weigh-in and then attended their fight. Peterson-Khan II will take place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

Khan discussed the fact that he and Peterson have agreed and signed to be randomly drug tested for blood and urine for their rematch, joining others such as WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul Alvarez and challenger Shane Mosley, who will be drug-tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) in advance of their HBO Pay Per View-televised clash on May 5 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Alvarez-Mosley will take place on the undercard of a main event featuring WBC welterweight titteholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. against WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto.

Negotiations for megabouts between WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao, who is promoted by Top Rank Inc., and Mayweather, who is handled by Golden Boy Promotions, have twice failed over Mayweather’s insistance on Olympic-style random drug testing.

Pacquiao has an ongoing lawsuit against Mayweather accusing him of defamation, asserting that the fighter has continued to insinuate publicly that Pacquiao’s success over eight weight classes is the result of having used performance-enhancing drugs.

Mayweather insisted that he and his his opponents were tested before his past two victories over Mosley in May and Victor Ortiz, in September, under Olympic-style random drug testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The VADA organization’s president and founder is Dr. Margaret Goodman, a former ringside physician and Medical Advisory Board Chairman for the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Goodman has acknowledged having been contacted by Golden Boy Promotions, promoter of the Khan-Peterson and Alvarez-Mosley bouts, but would not comment further because she said that the paperwork was not yet completed.

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Khan shares five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach with Pacquiao, who defends his title against WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as well as WBC middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Khan, Pacquiao and Chavez also share strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza, who had said that he and Roach have become unfairly targeted, if not tainted, by innuendo regarding their clients and performance enhancing drugs.

A former Olympic silver medalist who will be married next summer to his fiancee, Faryal Makhdoom, Khan spoke about the testing and his rematch with Peterson, among other things.

RingTV.com: Do you believe that Pacquiao should follow your lead and be randomly tested?

Amir Khan : That’s up to every individual fighter, to be honest with you. But, I really think that all fighters should take it. Let’s clean the sport up.

But the reason that I’m doing it is because I’ve always and already have been through this drug testing regime due to the Olympic games and everything.

So for me, it’s normal to go into a drug testing situation and give a blood sample or a urine sample. I was in the Olympic games in 2004, so since then, I’ve been randomly drug tested.

For all those people who have pointed fingers, at least they won’t be able to point fingers at me after that, because they know that I’ve been Olympic drug tested and if you’re tested, they’ll know that you have been too.

RingTV.com: Am I to understand, as Ariza says, that you are tested randomly on a regular basis in England?

AK: I get tested in England even at my home. They can just come and knock on my door. Also, I was in Los Angeles one time, and the British Boxing Board, two or three times, they sent a boxing people from America to test me.

So I’ve already been drug tested randomly, and I mean, I’ve been out at night with friends, and then, the next day, I’ll come home and they’ve come and drug tested me. I’ve never failed a drug test, and I’ve never refused one.

RingTV.com: So that’s been a misconception?

AK: Yeah. And people point fingers at Alex Ariza and they say this and that. But, I mean, look at it this way. I’m  probably one of the first fighters in our camp and in his stable to say, “look, I want to do random drug testing.”

For Olympic style as well. And not just the piss test, but also, I want to do full Olympic style so that people stop pointing the fingers.

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