Former professional boxing champion Amir Khan banned from all sport for two years
Image by Sky News
Professional boxer and Olympic medallist Amir Khan has been banned from all sport for two years following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) after being found guilty of using ostarine, a Prohibited Substance, for a fight.
On 19 February 2022, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an In-Competition urine Sample from Khan, who retired in May last year, after his fight against Kell Brook at the Manchester Arena. His sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for ostarine.
According to UK Anti-Doping, ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). The substance is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 2022 Prohibited List as an anabolic agent and is prohibited in sport at all times.
UKAD notified Khan of the AAF on 6 April, 2022 and that he may have committed ADRVs under the 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules (ADR). UKAD issued him with a Provisional Suspension from all Code-compliant sport on the same date. On 20 July, 2022, UKAD charged the former athlete with the commission of two ADRVs: under ADR Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance); and ADR Article 2.2 (Use of a Prohibited Substance).
Khan accepted the violations charged but maintained that his ingestion of ostarine was not ‘intentional’ (a term with a specific meaning set out at ADR Article 10.2.3). As a consequence his case was referred to the National Anti-Doping Panel to be considered by an independent tribunal.
His case was subsequently heard by the independent tribunal on 24 January, 2023 and in its written decision dated 21 February, 2023, the panel found both violations proved, concluded that Khan had established that they were not ‘intentional’ within the meaning of ADR Article 10.2.3 and imposed a two-year ban on him. The panel also disqualified his result from the bout against Brook.
Khan’s two-year ban is deemed to have commenced on 6 April, 2022 (the date his Provisional Suspension was imposed) and will expire on 5 April, 2024.
Speaking on the case, UKAD Chief Executive Jane Rumble said, “This case serves as a reminder that UKAD will diligently pursue Anti-Doping Rule Violations in order to protect clean sport.”
“Strict liability means Athletes are ultimately responsible for what they ingest and for the presence of any Prohibited Substances in a Sample. It is important that all Athletes and their support personnel, whatever level they are competing at, take their anti-doping responsibilities seriously. Not doing so risks damaging not only an Athlete’s career, but also undermining public confidence in clean sport.”