Former world champion boxer Amir Khan has been handed a two-year ban after failing a drug test. The 36-year-old athlete tested positive for Ostarine, a prohibited substance, in a urine sample collected by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after his fight against Kell Brook in February of the previous year. Khan was given a provisional suspension on April 6, 2022, and has accepted the violations, stating that the ingestion of Ostarine was not intentional.
Ostarine is classified as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM), a drug designed to have similar effects to testosterone. It is not approved for human consumption in the UK or anywhere else in the world. Dietary supplements containing Ostarine typically claim to promote muscle building. However, its use is strictly prohibited in sports as it is considered a performance-enhancing substance.
Khan, who retired from professional boxing in May of the previous year, has had a successful career, becoming a unified world champion at light welterweight with 34 wins from 40 fights. He rose to prominence after winning his first 18 professional contests and went on to become world champion in 2009 and added the International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt in 2011. However, his last fight against Kell Brook in February, which ended in a loss and was stopped in the sixth round, turned out to be his final career fight.
As a result of the ban, Khan will not be eligible to participate in any sport until April 2024, as the ban has been backdated to the time of the provisional suspension. UKAD chief executive Jane Rumble emphasized that athletes are ultimately responsible for what they ingest and the presence of any prohibited substances in their samples, as per the principle of strict liability. She further highlighted the importance of athletes and their support personnel taking their anti-doping responsibilities seriously at all levels of competition, to protect the integrity of clean sport and maintain public confidence.
This case serves as a reminder that anti-doping organizations such as UKAD are committed to diligently pursuing Anti-Doping Rule Violations to maintain the fairness and integrity of sports. Athletes must be vigilant in ensuring that they comply with anti-doping regulations and avoid the use of prohibited substances, as the consequences can be severe, including damaging their careers and undermining public confidence in clean sport.
Amir Khan’s two-year ban for the failed drug test and Adverse Analytical Finding for Ostarine serve as a cautionary tale for athletes at all levels of competition. It highlights the importance of adhering to anti-doping regulations, being aware of the substances they ingest, and understanding the serious consequences of doping in sports. Clean sport is crucial for maintaining the integrity and fairness of competition, and athletes must take their anti-doping responsibilities seriously to protect the reputation of the sport they love. So, it is crucial for all athletes to be vigilant and ensure that they comply with anti-doping regulations to maintain the integrity of sports and protect their careers.