Lamont Peterson’s hip was injected with testosterone pellets on November 12 to “therapeutically treat” a “testosterone deficiency” in advance of facing Amir Khan for the IBF/WBA junior welterweight title on Dec. 10, according to a letter by Las Vegas-based Dr. John A. Thompson, the physician who executed the procedure.
“I administered…testosterone in the form of pellets which were inserted subcutaneously into his hip. These pellets deliver bioidentical testosterone derived from soy, not synthetic testosterone,” wrote Thompson.
“When delivered via pellets, the hormone is time-released as the body needs it over a period of months and does not cause a sudden rise in testosterone levels. This would not produce a significant enhancement of athletic performance.”
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) and Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) contractually agreed to be randomly drug tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), whose president and founder is Margaret Goodman, in the time leading up to their rematch.
In an letter to Nevada State Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer, Goodman wrote that a “urine specimen…was collected on March 19,” and that its test results were “consistent with the administration of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone.”
Kizer asked Goodman if Peterson completed a disclosure form of medications “when he signed up with VADA and/or when his sample was collected in March,” and was told in an e-mail, “Yes, and there was no mention of testosterone.”
A statement on Monday made through Peterson’s publicist, Andre Johnson, on behalf of the boxer and his manager, Barry Hunter, acknowledged the positive test.
On Tuesday evening, Peterson’s Washington-based attorney, Jeff Fried, wrote in a letter to Kizer that the fighter received the treatment after having been diagnosed with an abormal or low testosterone level, indicating that the procedure was “justified and strictly for medical concerns.”
Thompson said he was prompted by Peterson’s “complaints of fatigue and difficulty concentrating,” adding that he was “shocked to see Mr. Peterson’s testosterone was so low.”
“I have never witnessed such a young athlete with so little available testosterone…Given the critical nature of this hormone for many important bodily functions and overall health and Mr. Peterson’s severe deficiency, I made a medical decision to treat his condition,” wrote Thompson.
“Mr. Peterson complained of ongoing fatigue and lack of mental focus. Since low testosterone levels can cause these symptoms, I felt that Mr. Peterson could posslbly experience significant health problems without normalizing his testosterone level.”
Kizer said no decision on the status of the rematch would be made until after the letter and subsequent information is reviewed by chairman Skip Avansino and a decision is rendered.
Avasino could choose to grant Peterson a license administratively, call a special meeting to address the circumstances or simply refuse outright to license Peterson “for May 19 and the fight’s off,” said Kizer.
“It will be one of those three things. I will be waiting for them to get back to me, so it’s not fair to put a time frame on the commissioners or the doctor,” said Kizer.
“But I await whether or not they want to have a special hearing on this matter, because I will not give Lamont Peterson a license administratively.”
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, who handles Khan and expressed anger that neither he nor the Khan camp was informed of the developments until Monday, informed RingTV.com that he still is awaiting a decision by the Nevada commission regarding Peterson’s license.
Kizer said, however, that Schaefer informed him that if Peterson is not licensed, “the fight card in its entirety will be called off, and that Mr. Khan will be looking for a new opponent to fight sometime later in the year at the Mandalay Bay.”
Click on “NEXT” to read the two-page letter from Thompson of the Desert Oasis Clinic: