Amir Khan has been banned from all sports for two years after testing positive for the banned substance ostarine following his fight against Kell Brook last year.
Although the British boxing legend has already retired after the defeat, he was able to prove that he did not intentionally consume the substance. However, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) still issued the two-year ban.
Amir Khan's rise to fame began at the young age of 17 when he won an Olympic silver medal for Great Britain in 2004. He went on to become a prominent figure in British boxing as a unified super-lightweight world champion, taking part in high-profile fights against notable boxers such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Danny Garcia, Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, and finally Kell Brook.
Following his fight against Brook, Khan tested positive for the banned substance ostarine, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) that is designed to have similar effects to testosterone.
Dietary supplements containing ostarine are often marketed as muscle-building supplements, but it is not approved for human consumption in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
UKAD’s statement read:
“Professional boxer and Olympic medallist Amir Khan has been banned from all sport for two years following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) for the presence and use of a Prohibited Substance.
“On 19 February 2022, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an In-Competition urine Sample from Mr Khan after his fight against Kell Brook at the Manchester Arena. Mr Khan’s Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for ostarine.
“Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). The substance is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 2022 Prohibited List as an anabolic agent and is prohibited in sport at all times.
“UKAD notified Mr Khan of the AAF on 6 April 2022 and that he may have committed ADRVs under the 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules (ADR). UKAD issued him with a Provisional Suspension from all Code-compliant sport on the same date.
“On 20 July 2022, UKAD charged Mr Khan with the commission of two ADRVs: under ADR Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance); and ADR Article 2.2 (Use of a Prohibited Substance).
“Mr Khan accepted the violations charged but maintained that his ingestion of ostarine was not ‘intentional’ (a term with a specific meaning set out at ADR Article 10.2.3).
Brook beat Khan in six rounds
“As a consequence his case was referred to the National Anti-Doping Panel to be considered by an independent tribunal.
“Mr Khan’s case was heard by the independent tribunal on 24 January 2023 and in its written decision dated 21 February 2023, the panel found both violations proved, concluded that Mr Khan had established that they were not ‘intentional’ within the meaning of ADR Article 10.2.3 and imposed a two-year ban on him.
“The panel also disqualified Mr Khan’s result from the bout against Mr Brook.
“Mr Khan’s two-year ban is deemed to have commenced on 6 April 2022 (the date his Provisional Suspension was imposed) and will expire on 5 April 2024.”
Speaking on the case, UKAD Chief Executive Jane Rumble said:
“This case serves as a reminder that UKAD will diligently pursue Anti-Doping Rule Violations in order to protect clean sport.”
“Strict liability means Athletes are ultimately responsible for what they ingest and for the presence of any Prohibited Substances in a Sample.
“It is important that all Athletes and their support personnel, whatever level they are competing at, take their anti-doping responsibilities seriously.
“Not doing so risks damaging not only an Athlete’s career but also undermining public confidence in clean sport.”
And talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan hopes this will see a shake up in the way boxing deals with drug tests.
“There’s a part of me that says this is the last thing boxing needs, and there’s another part of me that says it’s the absolute real thing that boxing needs.
“Because it’s absolutely rife in this sport.
“There’s allegations of lack of professionalism and lack of process.
“I speak to really big sports journalists sometimes and say, ‘Why don’t you write more stories about boxing?’
“[They say], ‘Because it’s a crappy world full of rotten people that don’t operate in the right way. And it’s so murky and bad that we don’t even wanna write about it, it’s so ridiculous.’
“But the more it gets this kind of focus, the more there’s gonna have to be perhaps a professionalization of the business.”