Lamont Peterson | Why He Was Vindicated by the IBFWritten by Lee Cleveland
After a seemingly thorough review of the facts surrounding Lamont Peterson's testosterone replacement therapy and his "alleged" attempt to cheat, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) will allow their current jr welterweight champion to keep the title he won from Amir Khan on December 10, 2011.
Lamont Peterson won a split decision over Khan in December, seizing the Brit's WBA and IBF Jr Welterweight titles in the process.
The rematch, scheduled for May 19th, was cancelled just days after the discovery that Peterson had tested positive for a banned substance from a series of random drug tests administered by the newly formed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) founded by the esteemed Dr. Margaret Goodman, a former Nevada ringside physician.
After the positive drug test, it was discovered Lamont Peterson was treated by Dr. John A. Thompson in October - two months prior to his bout with Khan - for chronic fatigue caused by abnormally low levels of testosterone.
Because a form of testosterone therapy also took place before the original December 10th, the validity and integrity of Peterson's championship winning performance was under scrutiny as well.
But according to a letter written by Dr. Thompson and disclosed by Peterson's attorney Jeff Fried, the prizefighter was treated by the physician for health concerns and the therapy was not an attempt to enhance athletic performance.
Below are excerpts from Dr. Thompson's letter, which was given to the Nevada State Athletic Commission explaining the reason for the therapy:
"Upon obtaining the lab results, I was literally shocked to see Mr. Peterson's testosterone was so low. His total testosterone measured 563 ng/dl, and the more important free testosterone was drastically low measuring 7.5 pg/ml.
Free testosterone is what is more biologically available because it is unbound and able to act on the tissues. In my opinion free testosterone is the better standard for measuring testosterone levels in the body. I have never witnessed such a young athlete with so little available testosterone."
Dr. Thompson added, "The amount he received is a physiologic dose of testosterone and has been safely administered to thousands of people in this country and internationally since the 1930's. It is my professional opinion that no therapeutic alternative exists to increase low testosterone other than hormone replacement therapy."
Despite the reports, the WBA acted quickly, stripping Peterson of its version of the jr welterweight title in the ensuing weeks.
However, the IBF chose to take its time and perhaps scrutinize every detail before making premature decisions based on minimal data.
And finally, after a seemingly exhaustive review of all the documentation provided by Lamont Peterson's team and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it was determined that the testosterone levels recorded by in their VADA report were, in fact, consistent with the therapeutic use and not for the purpose of performance enhancement.
Furhermore, any benefits Lamont received from his testosterone replacement therapy were too minimal to have enhanced Peterson's training or performance for his December 10, 2011 bout with Amir Khan as well as for the May 19th rematch that was cancelled.
Perhaps if there was any wrong doing on Peterson's behalf or if he needed help with substance abuse problems, it was only his failure to report the testosterone treatment to the appropriate authorities when asked to divulge his medical history to VADA before the drug testing was administered.
Nevertheless, Peterson has been cleared of any attempt to cheat - and not reporting his treatment to the Nevada State Commission doesn't change the fact his drug test results show the fighter could not have reaped any performance enhancements benefit as a result of the therapy.
Lamont Peterson has been asked by the IBF to defend his title against its No. 1 contender Zab Judah within a reasonable time period.
Judah last fought on March 24, dominating slight favorite Vernon Paris. Zab entered as the No. 6 junior welterweight in the world by The RING Magazine while Paris was ranked No. 10.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.