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Friday, May 25, 2012
VADA Mess!

A Quick Look at the Legal and Regulatory Issues Raised by the Cancellations of Khan-Peterson II and Berto-Ortiz II Following Positive Drug Tests
                In one famously bad month for top-level professional boxing, two highly anticipated rematches of 2011 “Fights of the Year” were aced as a result of participants testing positive for banned substances.  The unfortunate news began in early May, when it was disclosed that unified junior welterweight champion Lamont (Havoc) Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone in advance of his May 12, 2012 rematch with Amir (King) Khan.  It continued about a week later when it was disclosed that the June 23, 2012 welterweight rematch between Andre Berto and “Vicious” Victor Ortiz was canceled after Berto tested positive for noandrosterone, a banned steroid.  Both positive tests came during random testing administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (“VADA”) and agreed to by the contestants in their bout contracts.  In the wake of these positive tests, what once looked like an outstanding device for making certain that professional boxers did not seek unfair advantages behind closed doors during their pre-fight preparations has now become the flashlight that illuminated what may be a long-time practice in professional boxing.  What can be taken away from Peterson’s and Berto’s positive tests? A quick look follows....
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