Another week, another boxing star tests positive for a PED. At this time, we've gotten to a frightening point where skeptical eyes are focused on every top-level hitter in the game, after former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver tested positive for the steroid drostanolone, from a sample taken before his June 2 fight against Lateef Kayode, in California.
Gabriel Montoya of Maxboxing Tweeted the revelation that Tarver, who fought Kayode to a draw, and just a couple days ago was going back and forth on Twitter followers about the Julio Cesar Chavez testing snafu in Texas, tested positive. ESPN's Dan Rafael talked to George Dodd, the executive director of the Cali commission, and Dodd confirmed Tarver's positive. He said that Tarver would be suspended and fined, an amount to me that seems a pittance, $2,500.
The fighter took to Twitter after 9 PM Friday night. “Today's news of a false positive caught me as well as my family and supporters by surprise, I apologize for the embarrassment it caused. I'll appeal and submit to the California Commission everything that I've consume prior to June 2 that could of caused this honest mistake.”
The substance Cali says was in his urine is used by some to counter side effects of steroids, such as bloating and water retention.
Tarver's situation comes on the heels of Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto also testing positive. All eyes will be on the Showtime broadcast of Saturday's Victor Ortiz-Josesito Lopez scrap, as Tarver is slated to work the card as an analyst.
The fighter, age 43, boasts a 29-6-1 mark after the draw with Kayode, though you can expect the draw to be ruled a No Contest. He is best known for a shocker KO win over Roy Jones in 2004, and as of late has been campaigning at cruiser, while promising to get a title shot after heavyweight, after flirting some with that division. The wave of PED positives, while a shock and a buzzkill, could be seen as a positive, if the athletes and powers that be in the sport work to get everyone on an even playing field. It is a shame because fight fans now can't help it but look at the accomplishments of everyone with a jaundiced eye.
June 22, 2012 – Promoter Gary Shaw is concerned about the damage done in the sport of boxing after the news Friday that Antonio Tarver tested positive for a banned substance in a pre-fight drug test conducted by the California State Athletic Commission before his fight with Lateef Kayode.
“It's very worrisome where our sport is heading these days with the recent array of fighters testing positive for banned substances,” Shaw said. “With all these fights being canceled its killing the sport and I hope the networks are not going to lose interest. As promoters, we do our best to make sure everyone is abiding by the rules. I'm happy that the commissions are stepping up their stance on catching fighters cheating because the safety of the fighter should always come first.
“It's unfortunate that in Lateef Kayode's first major opportunity, he had to fight on what appears to be an unlevel playing field.I have a lot of respect for Antonio Tarver and would be very disappointed to find out that he knowingly took performance enhancing drugs. It is my hope that Tarver requests that the B sample will be tested and will show that Tarver was clean. However if the sample comes back dirty, then the commission should take appropriate action. It was a very close fight as it was ruled a split draw, but now that we have been informed by the California State Athletic Commission about the alleged drug use,I'll have to talk to Lateef and his management team to see what we'll do to resolve this matter.
“In addition, the horrible scoring by the judges, the excessive use of PED's, and the inability of promoters working together, is only going to kill this sport,'' Shaw continued. “Something needs to be done and major changes need to be made, and the time is now. The boxing business is getting worse by the day and we are losing fans by the minute. Boxing has been around longer than any other sport and we must keep the integrity of the game pure. I implore the commissions around the United States to take severe action against any fighter who doesn't abide by the commissions' standards. We need a strict drug testing policy to rid the sport of those that don't want to play by the rules, and we need more competent judges.”