Golden Boy Promotions, on behalf of former unified junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, is moving swiftly in an effort to have the result of Khan's split-decision title loss to Lamont Peterson in December overturned to a no-contest and the belts returned to Khan in the wake of Peterson's failed drug test.
Golden Boy attorney Arnold Joseph wrote letters on Friday to Alfred Grant, deputy commissioner of the Washington, D.C., Boxing and Wrestling Commission, asking the fight result be changed to a no-contest.
Joseph also wrote to Daryl Peoples of the IBF and Gilberto Mendoza Jr. of the WBA, the organizations that sanctioned the world title bout on Dec. 10, asking for the titles to be returned to Khan.
Peterson failed a March 19 random urine test when his sample came back positive for synthetic testosterone, a banned substance. The results came to light on Monday and ultimately forced the cancellation of his rematch with Khan scheduled for May 19 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Peterson has admitted to taking the banned substance, but his attorney, Jeff Fried, said Peterson took it under the supervision of a doctor for medical purposes -- an abnormally low testosterone level. However, Peterson, who admitted to having testosterone pellets implanted inside him, did not disclose it to the Nevada State Athletic Commission or to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which was overseeing the random pre-fight testing that Peterson asked for and Khan agreed to.
The reason the result of the December bout in Washington -- Peterson's hometown -- is in question is because Peterson admitted to taking the testosterone about a month before he faced Khan -- even though Peterson's drug tests came back clean after that bout, likely because the tests conducted by the Washington commission are less sophisticated than those conducted by VADA.
"Since the disclosure of the (March 19) test result, Mr. Peterson, through counsel, has not only admitted that he had a performance-enhancing substance implanted in his body, he has admitted that the substance was administered to him in November of 2011, less than one month before the bout and consequently, as will be explained later in this letter, was in his system at the time of the bout," Joseph wrote to Grant in a letter obtained by ESPN.com. "In light of the admission by Peterson that he had a performance-enhancing substance implanted into his body prior to the bout, we request that your commission overturn the decision in the bout and declare it a no-contest."
Joseph further wrote: "(Peterson's) doctors reported that subcutaneous testosterone pellets were administered to Mr. Peterson on November 12, 2011 and that they account for the positive drug test on samples taken from Mr. Peterson by VADA on March 19, 2012. It should be noted that Mr. Peterson did not alert (the WBA), the IBF or the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission to his alleged condition or the insertion of these testosterone pellets prior to or after the bout.
"Logic dictates that if remnants of the testosterone inserted on November 12, 2011, were present in Mr. Peterson's system on March 19, 2012, and accounted for a finding by VADA that there were illegal substances in Mr. Peterson that were consistent with the administration of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone, then the substance was most definitely in his system on December 10, 2011.
"In light of the above, we submit that Mr. Peterson had a performance enhancing substance in his system prior to and during the bout, and as a result thereof, the bout result should be overturned and the outcome should be changed to a no-contest."
Joseph wrote similar letters to Peoples and Mendoza, both of which were also obtained by ESPN.com. In those letters, Joseph concluded by asking that the belts be returned to Khan.
The IBF and WBA are both reviewing the situation.
"We are reviewing all of this and we are still in the process of collecting information," Peoples told ESPN.com. "The IBF has no authority to overturn a decision. I have been in contact with the D.C. commission to see what their position is and they will get back to me."
Mendoza told ESPN.com that he was "still waiting for all reports before issuing a decision in Khan's case."
Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), of England, is livid with Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) and wants the result changed and his titles back.
"He's a fake and I'd tell him that to his face," Khan told ESPN.com in an interview on Wednesday night, a few hours after the fight was canceled. "Lamont Peterson is a fake and a fraud who cheated his way through. Now he will always be remembered as a cheater just like (former welterweight titlist) Antonio Margarito (who was caught trying to fight with loaded hand wraps). We used to have a lot of respect for Peterson. But now, I think he's let all of the boxing fans around the world down for what he's done."
Khan added: "Of course, the first fight should be declared a no-contest. That was his first world title fight, he was at home and he would do anything he could to win.
"I hit him with everything in that fight and he kept getting stronger and stronger. He was recovering so fast after all the punches he was getting caught with. People were saying they had never seen him like that and now we know why."