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Amir Khan 'banned for two years' for violating doping rules

Even after retiring, Amir Khan still has to contend with the effects of a prior drug test result.

The former unified junior welterweight champion and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics received a backdated two-year ban from all sports for breaking UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) regulations. The suspension was a result of Khan producing a positive drug test after his knockout loss to Kell Brook on February 19 of last year. Ostarine, an anabolic substance used to promote muscle development, was found in traces in a post-fight testing sample.

According to a two-year suspension that began last April when the testing organisation informed the boxer of its results, Khan will continue to be suspended through next April 5, according to a UKAD announcement.

“Mr. Khan's two-year ban is deemed to have commenced on April 6, 2022 and will expire on April 5, 2024,” UKAD declared in a statement released Tuesday.

When an athlete is caught with and unable to successfully defend having a banned drug found in their system, the penalty is reduced by half from what is typically imposed under its "Strict Liability" laws. In a thorough report, UKAD concluded that "the objective scientific evidence rules out any intentional or careless behaviour by [Khan]."

“It is inconceivable that he would have sought to ingest a micro-dose which would have been a fraction, at least 1,000 times less of a dose intended to provide any performance enhancement or any other competitive advantage.”

Bolton's Khan, who is now 40, has maintained his innocence, which actually accords with UKAD's conclusion.

“I have never cheated,” Khan told Sky Sports upon learning of the ruling. "The amount that was in my system could have come from shaking peoples' hands. I don't know what the drug was in my system. I will give my views, but, like I say, I have never cheated in my life. I would never cheat.

“I am a retired fighter. You can see by my performance against Kell Brook [that it] wasn't the best. I lost the fight. If I went in there and knocked Kell Brook out it is different. I have never cheated in my life. I am the one who wanted the testing done.”

When the post-fight testing sample was taken and until Tuesday's decision, more than 13 months later, BOXXER, who organized the event, was reportedly unaware of what was going on.

Khan's most recent victory came in July 2019, when he defeated former featherweight champion Billy Dib in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the fourth round of their welterweight match. With the loss to Brook, the well-liked British fighter's illustrious career came to an end. During that time, he had defeated eleven major champions, including six in real championship fights.


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