RingTV.com spoke to junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson concerning the positive drug test for a banned substance which has forced the cancellation of the rematch with Amir Khan that was slated for May 19.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) cited medical reasons for having had testosterone pellets injected into his hip by Las Vegas-based doctor John A. Thompson in November, but his admission has clouded the result of December’s split-decision over Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), who, with promoter Golden Boy, will likely demand that the result be overturned.
Peterson and Khan contractually agreed to have their blood and urine randomly drug tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for their rematch.
A letter from VADA president and founder Dr. Margaret Goodman to Nevada State Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer specifies that Peterson’s urine specimen “was collected on March 19,” and that its test results were “consistent with the administration of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone.”
In this Q&A, Peterson corroborates Thompson’s assertion tht he “administered…testosterone in the form of pellets which were inserted subcutaneously” into Peterson’s hip for the purpose of treating abnormally low levels of the natural body chemical.
Thompson, who began working with Peterson and his trainer, Barry Hunter, sometime before his loss to Tim Bradley in December of 2009, contends that the low levels of testosterone were a threat to the fighter’s health, and that the injections “would not produce a significant enhancement of athletic performance.”
Peterson also addresses why he did not reveal the testosterone treatment along with other forms of medications he was taking when he signed up with VADA or when his initial sample was collected in March.
RingTV.com: How are you?
RingTV.com: What do you want to say to the public concerning this entire situation?
LP: I just want to tell everybody to just give me a chance to prove my innocence. Just because all of this stuff is coming out, they’re saying this and saying that, here my truth first, or at least hear my side and then make your decision.
There are a lot of people out here saying a lot of things and dragging my name through the mud. But I’m okay with that, because at the end of the day, the truth will come out. I’m just hoping that people give me a chance to prove my innocence.
At the end of the day, I didn’t cheat and I’m going to stand by that. I’m not a cheating person. Anybody who really knows me knows that, and that I would never cheat. No matter how much money was on the line or whatever was on the line, I’m not going to cheat. That’s not me.
RingTV.com: How do you explain the results of the procedure you had with Dr. Thompson?
To me, there is something going on, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. Until we get to the bottom of it, at least allow me the chance to get to the bottom of things before you just start judging me.
RingTV.com: Why were you advised to go to that particular doctor as opposed to, say, one closer to home?
RingTV.com: What were the circumstances under which you came to work with Dr. Thompson and why were you advised to do so?
LP: We were doing camp out in Las Vegas at the time, and we were there for maybe a month or a month and a half. So, we dealt with him at that particular time and we have continued to deal with him from then on.
It was just to get regular supplements and things like that while we were there. We weren’t at home, and so we went over there to get vitamins and things like that. That’s all.
RingTV.com: How did you learn about Dr. Thompson?
RingTV.com: This last visit was for your having experienced fatigue?
LP: Yeah, we were in camp and we were trying to figure out why, at some points, I would sit down and start to get dizzy and things like that. So, of course, we’re trying to figure out what was going on.
So the doctor told us to go and get some lab work done, and to get all of these different tests done on me to try and figure out what was going on.
The test results came back, and a lot of stuff checked out normal. But one or two things showed up very low, and that was a concern.
That was a concern not just for boxing, but having low testosterone can, you know, affect your general health in many ways. Once Dr. Thompson explained all of that to me, and he explained all about the procedure, we did it.
RingTV.com: Was this the first time you had the procedure done while working with Dr. Thompson?
RingTV.com: Were there any concerns that this was illegal?
LP: Well he was showing me that it was not a steroid, and that it wasn’t a performance enhancement drug or anything like that. He said that it’s not going to make me feel like Super Man or anything like that.
It’s not going to make feel like a super hero. He said it’s just going to bring my levels up and that’s all, and that my overall health would be better. He told me all of this before he went through with the procedure.
I even went online to watch videos of them doing the procedure, because I was kind of cautious about it. So I went online, did the research, found out that it was considered an all-natural substance and supplement.
It’s a soy-based product, and I watched them actually do the procedure on several people who had the same problem that I have, and so I said, you know what? We’re going to go through with it, and that’s what we did.
RingTV.com: So when you pushed for the VADA testing, you were confident that there would not be a problem?
But, you know, there are certain things that will show up, and then there are certain things that they’re looking for. I was sure that this was not anything that would give me a dirty urine that would lead to me failing a test.
RingTV.com: Were you tested by the Washington, D.C. commission prior to the first fight?
Because I really feel as though there are people out here who are cheating, and I know that I’m not one of them, so this is something that I really wanted for the sport of boxing. Not just for me.
Yeah, I wanted it of course for the safety of myself and for my brother and for everyone else, and for the sport of boxing, because I do believe that there are a lot of things that are going on that are not fair.
So, that’s something that I wanted, not saying that Amir Khan is a cheater, but I was trying to make a statement and to let other top fighters out there know that, “look, this is what we need to do to clean up the sport.”
So, if I’m cheating, why would I ask for that? That wouldn’t not make no sense for me to ask for extensive and expansive drug testing if I was cheating.
RingTV.com: What was your reaction to the positive test?
Or anything like that. So I gathered everything and I gave it to them and we just couldn’t find out what it was. I gave them permission as part of the process to test sample B, and they tested it and they said that they found the same thing.
Really, they didn’t know, at that point, what was going on. They kept saying that it was a steroid. Still, at this point, I knew that I didn’t take any steroids, so I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.
RingTV.com: You didn’t think of disclosing the testosterone procedure with Dr. Thompson?
Everything that I’ve done, taken, eaten, everything, pretty much. But at that point, it was the testosterone problem again. They were thinking that it was a steroid and all of this. It’s not a steroid.
It’s not any of that they’re saying that it is. Once we get the story out there and get the facts out there and the truth out there, people will see that I did not cheat. I did not take a performance enhancing drug. It just didn’t happen.
RingTV.com: What is your response to Amir Khan insinuating that you appeared to be bigger and stronger than most guys that he hit before and that you should be banned?
The only fight that that didn’t happen was the fight with Victor Ortiz, and that’s because I was sick. Any other fight, I was well above 150 pounds. If you go back to April of 2009, against Willy Blain on HBO?
Go back to that fight track and I weighed 154, 155 pounds for that fight. That was against Willy Blain. Anybody who says that I fought differently or looked stronger, watch any of my fights on television.
From Willy Blain to Timothy Bradley to Victor Cayo, I put pressure on them, I was stronger than them, and it was the same way in the Khan fight. When I continued to fight, further on, you would see that.
RingTV.com: What is your response to those who say that you should be stripped of your belts for the fight in Washington, D.C. and that this positive test impugns your victory over Khan?
But that’s not what happened, and I already know that. I know that at the end of the day, the truth will come come out, and that’s just the way that it is. What’s going on is not the truth. There are a lot of lies that are being told.
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org