Former light heavyweight titleholder Antonio Tarver, a Showtime boxing commentator, has tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid drostanolone stemming from a result of a test administered by the California State Athletic Commission after Tarver’s draw with Lateef Kayode on June 2 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
CSAC chief inspector Che Guevara could not immediately be reached, but Kayode’s manager, Steve Feder, corroborated a report by BoxingScene.com, saying that Guevara informed him on Wednesday of Tarver’s positive result.
George Dodd, the CSAC’s executive director, told RingTV.com that Tarver has been suspended for his infraction and fined $2,500 of the $1.1 million purse he earned for facing Kayode.
Dodd also identified the banned substance as drostanolone, adding that the draw between Tarver and Kayode will be “reflected as a no-decision pretty soon.”
“Mr Tarver did test positive for a banned substance. Mr. Tarver has been notified and can make a determination on what the next step is through his legal counsel. Mr. Tarver’s A sample came back positive,” said Dodd.
“Mr. Tarver has the opportunity to appeal the suspension as well as the fine and he also has the opportunity to witness the opening and viewing of the B sample if he wishes it to be tested. We are waiting for Mr. Tarver to respond to that.”
If Tarver’s B sample returns negative, the commission will “then make a determination” concerning whether or not his penalty stands, pending an appeal by Tarver, Dodd said.
Tarver responded to the situation through his Twitter account..
“Today’s news of a false positive caught me as well as my family and supporters by surprise, I apologize for the embarressment it caused,” wrote Tarver.
“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.”
Feder said Guevera told him on Wednesday about the problem.
“We were actually informed first that Lateef’s test came up negative, and at that time, I was also informed that Antonio’s had come up positive,” Feder told RingTV.com on Friday.
“Che had called Lateef to let him know that his test was negative, and I followed up with Che as well, and then he Che told me that Tarver’s test had come up dirty.”
Feder said he did not learn until Friday that the banned substance was drostanolone.
“I checked with Che today to see if it was okay to comment on it, and I also asked him if they had actually known what substance was found,” said Feder. “Che then confirmed it today that it was drostanolone and said that it was okay to comment because it was public record.”
Kayode expressed remorse for Tarver.
“I feel so badly for him for Antonio Tarver. For his career. For the name that he has. He’s a world champion. I’m extreremly happy about my performance against this man,” said Kayode.
“But again, I also feel very badly for Antonio Tarver. I’m really happy about my performance against him, but again, I feel blessed. I want to thank my fans for their support.”
It unclear whether or not Tarver will work Saturday night’s clash between Showtime-televised telecast whose main event features ex-welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Tarver is the latest of three, high-profile boxers to fail drug tests in association with major fights, with the news coming in the wake of consecutive positive drug failures for banned substances by IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson and former two-time welterweight beltholder Andre Berto.
Peterson’s positive test for testosterone led to the cancelation of his rematch with Amir Khan. Berto’s positive result for the banned substance norandrosterone did the same for his rematch with Ortiz, who instead is meeting Lopez.
Unlike Tarver, the results of Peterson and Berto were discovered by the the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), this, after the two fighters pushed for and contractually agreed to the process.
WBO junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire has, nevertheless, announced his commitment to year-round, random drug testing to be conducted by VADA starting a day after his July 7 unification fight with IBF beltholder Jeffrey Mathebula.
A former 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, Tarver (29-6-1, 20 KOs) is best known for winning two of three bouts with Roy Jones, including a second-round stoppage victory in their second meeting.
Tarver, 43, also owns triumphs over ex-light heavyweight titleholders such as Glen Johnson, Clinton Woods and Montell Griffin.
Tarver had won two straight before facing Kayode, having scored a unanimous decision over as a heavyweight against Naguy Aguilera, and a ninth-round knockout of cruiserweight Danny Green.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]