AMIR KHAN’s rematch with LAMONT PETERSON for the WBA and IBF light welterweight titles has been officially cancelled, the American’s failed drug test.
The Briton’s US promoter, Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, revealed on Wednesday that Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone back in March after both fighters agreed to random drug testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) before their bout at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on 19 May.
Khan took to Twitter just before midnight to break the news that the fight would not go ahead, stating that Peterson was entirely to blame for its cancellation but revealed that he would find an opponent to face him at the end of June.
The Brit posted: “The fight is off! sorry everyone the only person to blame is @kingpete26 (Peterson). I’ll be looking for an opponent to fight June 30”.
Khan then spoke to Sky Sports News to vent his frustrations further, labelling the American a “cheat”.
The 25-year-old from Bolton said: “First of all I’m disappointed because I trained very hard for this fight,” said Khan.
“It was a big shock for me. My head was all over the place, I really, really wanted to win my titles back and have the fight.
“But the truth’s come out now and it just proves that Lamont Peterson was a cheat really.
“I’m looking at fighting on 30 June. I’ve got a meeting with Golden Boy Promotions over the next few days and hopefully we’ll set a date.”
Khan’s prospects of fighting Peterson in 10 days’ time grew bleaker after claims from Peterson’s lawyer, Jeff Fried, that he had used “surgically implanted testosterone pellets” under his armpits, in order to combat low testosterone levels.
Keith Kizner, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission revealed that he intended to advise the board to refuse Peterson a licence to fight Khan, with the result of their earlier meeting in Peterson’s hometown of Washington last December almost certain to be annulled.
Speaking to RingTV.com, Kizner said: “Unless there’s some real obvious and legitimate reason for the positive test, he’s not fighting.
“Jeff Fried said that it was ‘testosterone pellets’. What I understand that to be, although I’m not a doctor, is that it’s almost like a semi-solid that you kind of put underneath your armpit, and then the heat of your body kind of allows it to soak your glands.”
It is not just Khan himself who has been affected by the cancellation but the fact that an estimated 4,000 British fans have booked flights, hotels and tickets to support Khan as he seeks to reclaim his belts.
In spite of the revelations, Peterson’s team have insisted that he is not a drugs cheat. His publicist Andre Johnson also spoke to Sky Sports News, saying: “Lamont is not a cheat. He is not a steroid abuser. There’s no evidence of anabolic steroid abuse in his body or in his system,” he said.
“He’s not a doper. He’s not a cheater. He’s distraught. He wanted to clear his name and do what he was born to do – fight.”