Boxing: Khan camp label Peterson a 'disgrace' after fans lose out

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Richard Schaefer, Amir Khan's promoter, branded Lamont Peterson "a disgrace" yesterday for failing a drugs test and not disclosing the fact, thereby costing Khan's fans hundreds of pounds in wasted airfares and hotel rooms following the cancellation of their world-title fight, scheduled for Las Vegas on 19 May.

It was revealed on Monday that Peterson had tested positive for synthetic testosterone on both the A and B samples of a routine drug test, which he took alongside Khan in Los Angeles on 19 March. On 13 April, the day after he found out he had failed the A test, he took another test which, on 2 May, was found to be negative and could partially explain why negotiations for the fight continued for 72 hours after the initial results were known.

Peterson at first claimed to have no idea what had caused the failed test but he suddenly remembered that he had taken testosterone pellets under a doctor's guidance in Las Vegas last October because he was suffering from fatigue. The admission, which amazingly was not enough for the fight to be instantly cancelled, means that Peterson's marginal victory over Khan last December is now being investigated by the relevant sanctioning bodies. Schaefer has demanded that the fight be ruled a No Contest and that Khan should get his two championship belts back.

Schaefer is adamant that, had Peterson's representatives told him there was a problem with the A sample on 12 April, there would have been a chance the show could have been saved. "This is a disgrace, thousands of Amir's fans are out of pocket and we [Golden Boy Promotions] have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because we didn't have enough time to save the night," Schaefer said.

It has also been discovered that the Nevada State Athletic Commission wanted to examine Peterson's medical dossier, a package that was delivered by Peterson's lawyers on Tuesday, and tried to arrange a meeting next week between both sides. However, the hastily arranged meeting would have been too close to the fight's first bell, and late on Wednesday night in Las Vegas it was left to Schaefer to call it off officially.

Khan wanted to fight to get revenge for a controversial loss last December but there remains a lingering suspicion that his payday was also a factor.