NEW YORK (AP) — Amir Khan's promoter has canceled the British boxer's fight against Lamont Peterson because of the American's failed drug test.
Golden Boy Promotions announced that the May 19 rematch for the WBA and IBF junior welterweight belts was called off.
The statement Wednesday cited Peterson's positive doping test and the Nevada Athletic Commission's inability to hold a hearing on Peterson's licensing before Tuesday. The rematch in Las Vegas had been in doubt since earlier this week, when Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said a urine test in March found unacceptably high levels of synthetic testosterone in Peterson's system.
"First of all I'm disappointed because I trained very hard for this fight," Khan told British broadcaster Sky Sports News on Thursday. "... I really, really wanted to win my titles back and have the fight. But the truth's come out now and it just proves that Lamont Peterson was a cheat really."
Peterson's representatives issued a statement Thursday saying Peterson is distraught over the cancellation.
"In his 18 year career ... Lamont Peterson has never failed a drug test and has always complied with the rules beyond this isolated and explainable occurrence," the statement says. "We still stand behind the fact that he did nothing wrong and he was more than ready to go through with the May 19th fight."
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), of Washington, defeated Khan in a disputed split decision on Dec. 10 in the U.S. capital to become the WBA and IBF junior welterweight champion.
Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) was granted a rematch after complaining about the referee's decision to deduct him two points for pushing. He also was upset by the presence of an unauthorized man at ringside who was seen distracting an official.
With the loss of the main event, the entire May 19 schedule is canceled, Kizer said Thursday.
"The fight is off," Kizer told The Associated Press. "I feel bad for Mr. Khan, undercard fighters and the fans."
Two tests of Peterson's urine samples by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association reached the same positive finding, according to a report Kizer said he received Monday from Dr. Margaret Goodman, VADA chief executive and a former ringside physician.
Washington, D.C.-based attorney Jeff Fried told Nevada's boxing regulators that Peterson's failed doping test stemmed from an "inadvertent" failure to disclose medical treatment last November for low testosterone levels.
In a letter obtained earlier by the AP, Fried told the athletic commission that Peterson's doctor determined that a one-time "therapeutic" treatment "would not produce a significant enhancement of athletic performance."
The statement from Peterson's camp Thursday said he had provided the athletic commission with medical data in response to the allegations and that Peterson had seen several doctors who had come to the same conclusion as the doctor who initially treated and diagnosed Lamont's medical condition.
"We will vigorously pursue the truth with regards to this matter and continue to fight to protect this young man's character, credibility and all he has accomplished," the statement says. "Once all the facts have been reviewed we have no doubt that he will be vindicated."
Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy, said he hopes Khan will be given back his WBA and IBF titles.
"We are obviously going to ask the sanctioning organizations, the World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation, to rule this fight a no-contest and therefore give back the belts to Amir Khan — where they belong," Schaefer told Sky Sports News.
Associated Press writer Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
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