British boxer Amir Khan receives ban for doping

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Friday, April 7, 2023

Khan at a press conference in 2014.
Image: Taqihz.

On Tuesday, former light welterweight world champion boxer and Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan was given a two-year ban for doping by the UK Anti-Doping organisation.

The ban, which was backdated to April 2022, was for doping in a fight last February against Kell Brook; Khan retired three months after the fight. Despite his retirement, Khan has nonetheless been served with the suspension from the sport. It came as a result of testing positive for ostarine — a banned anabolic agent promoting muscle growth — in a urine sample following his sixth-round technical knock-out loss to Brook in Manchester in February. The ban will expire in April 2024.

Khan accepted he was in violation of the anti-doping rules and was not planning on appealing the decision, however, he called the ban "strange and funny" given the fact, he has retired and has "no comeback plans at all". While accepting that he was in violation of the rules, Khan maintained his innocence saying he had not intentionally ingested the substance. Although this was accepted by an independent panel in January, Khan was still handed a ban on the basis of strict liability.

"This case serves as a reminder that UKAD will diligently pursue anti-doping rule violations in order to protect clean sport," said UK Anti-Doping chief executive Jane Rumble. "Strict liability means athletes are ultimately responsible for what they ingest and for the presence of any prohibited substances in a sample."