Unified junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, due to face Amir Khan in a much anticipated rematch on May 19 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, has tested positive for a banned substance, putting the fight in jeopardy.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone following a random test in March. It is unclear why the result is just coming to light.
Ironically, it was Peterson who asked for Khan to undergo random blood and urine testing leading up to their HBO-televised main event.
They contracted with the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, whose president is Dr. Margaret Goodman, a former Nevada State Athletic Commission ringside physician. The organization's vice president is Dr. Edwin "Flip" Homansky, who also is a former NSAC ringside physician and member of the commission.
Jeff Fried, Peterson's attorney, acknowledged the positive test on Monday night.
"We have tremendous respect for VADA and its mission," Fried said in a statement to ESPN.com. "Lamont, (trainer/manager) Barry (Hunter) and the entire team emphatically support random drug testing in the most comprehensive manner possible. We are working expeditiously with a team of pathologists and other medical specialists to confirm the origin of the test result and in full compliance with the rules of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
"Lamont has never had a positive test either before or after this isolated occurrence and we plan to submit the medical findings by close of business Tuesday reflecting the actual facts in support of Lamont's good faith intentions and the requirements of the commission."
The Khan team was not available to comment, but another source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com that after promoter Golden Boy was informed of the positive test, it notified Khan's father, Shah Khan, on Monday.
"At this point in the process, I think it would be inappropriate for me to discuss the matter with the media," Goodman said.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) and Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), of England, waged one of the best fights of 2011 in Peterson's hometown of Washington, D.C. Peterson won a split decision in the Dec. 10 showdown, claiming two titles in a fight that ended in a storm of controversy.
Khan was docked two points on questionable calls by referee Joe Cooper for pushing, a call rarely made. Khan complained that Cooper never warned Peterson for leading with his head. Golden Boy also raised questions about judge George Hill's scoring of the seventh round, which appeared to read 10-10 on the scorecard but was crossed out to read 10-8 in Peterson's favor.
And there was the was the much-publicized issue of the so-called "mystery man" at ringside, who turned out to be Mustafa Ameen, who is affiliated with the IBF and had a credential arranged as a courtesy from the organization, but was not at the fight in an official capacity. However, he was seen on video at ringside apparently touching the scoring slips, which is against the rules, and distracting a judge. He was later seen in the ring apparently celebrating with the Peterson team after the fight.