Amir Khan has bizarrely claimed that his failed drugs test could have been down to ‘shaking people’s hands’ shortly after he was banned from all sports for two years following anti-doping rule violations for the presence and use of a prohibited substance
A urine sample collected by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) from the 36-year-old after his fight against Kell Brook in February 2022 contained an Adverse Analytical Finding for ostarine, a banned bodybuilding drug.
UKAD notified Khan – an Olympic silver medallist and former world super-lightweight champion – of this on April 6, 2022 and issued him with a provisional suspension, meaning he has known about this for 12 months.
On July 20, 2022, they then charged the boxer with two Anti-Doping Rule Violations for the presence and use of a prohibited substance.
Khan accepted the violations but maintained his ingestion of ostarine was not ‘intentional’, while he also pleaded his innocence and insisted he ‘never had or never will cheat’ after the suspension was announced on Tuesday.
His claim that the ingestion of ostarine was ‘not intentional’ meant the case was referred to the National Anti-Doping Panel and was considered by an independent tribunal which heard the case on January 24, 2023.
In the written decision it came to, dated February 21, 2023, the independent panel found him to be guilty of both violations, but concluded Khan had not done so intentionally.
Speaking on Sky Sports News on Tuesday morning after he was handed a two-year ban, Khan denied any suggestions of wrongdoing. He said: ‘I’ve just heard about it now as well so I’ve got no comment at the moment but I’ll be in touch to give you my verdict.
‘I’ve never cheated. I’m a retired fighter and at the same time you can see by my performance, my performance against Kell Brook wasn’t the best.
‘I lost the fight and if I went in there and knocked out Kell Brook it’d be different.
‘I’ve never cheated in my life and I’m the one that wanted the testing on the fight and also the amount that was in my system could have been by shaking people’s hands.
‘I don’t know what drug was in my system. Ostarine. I’ll be in touch – I’ve never cheated in my life and I’ll never cheat.
‘And I’m a retired fighter so if I’ve got a two-year ban its quite strange and funny they’ve banned me – I’m already retired.
‘I have no comeback plans at all but like I say I’ve never cheated and I never will and that’s never something I’ll do.’
In a statement when announcing the ban, UKAD said: ‘Professional boxer and Olympic medallist Amir Khan has been banned from all sport for two years following Anti-Doping Rule Violations for the presence and use of a Prohibited substance.
Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator. The substance is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2022 Prohibited List as an anabolic agent and is prohibited in sport at all times.’
UKAD’s statement continued: ‘Mr. Khan accepted the violations charged but maintained that his ingestion of ostarine was not ‘intentional’.
‘The panel also disqualified Mr. Khan’s result from the bout against Mr Brook.’
Ostarine MK-2866, also known as ostarine or enobosarm, is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is popular among bodybuilders and athletes for its ability to build muscle mass and increase strength with minimal side effects.