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Open mouth, insert foot: Keith Kizer’s attack on Dr. Margaret Goodman backfires (updated with crash course link)
By Zach Arnold | May 9, 2012
We are working on a primer article for boxing fans in regards to the testosterone issue that has been raised as a result of the failed drug test of Lamont Peterson. The purpose of the article is to inform the boxing media and fans about the testosterone scam that so many MMA fans have had to put up with for years now.
What’s been interesting, at least for me, has been the reaction of boxing fans to the news of Peterson testing positive for synthetic testosterone. The negative response from fans, promoters, and media towards Peterson has been universal. You won’t find many people defending Lamont Peterson. Contrast that with the response you get from MMA fans online whenever someone is exposed for using testosterone or gets a hall pass for Testosterone Replacement Therapy. The reaction varies wildly in the MMA community based on who the fighter is and whether or not people support the person in the first place. It’s hypocritical, but hopefully attitudes change as more testosterone users get exposed.
One individual who we have had issues with on the testosterone scam is Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. This is a man who, less than two months ago, publicly said that he doesn’t want testosterone usage to become ‘a scarlet letter’ for fighters. He made this comment in response to a question during a major interview on the issue by Josh Gross on ESPN Radio. The question was in relation to the preaching of testosterone usage by UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Take a look at what Keith Kizer said to Josh Gross:
“We probably had about, maybe, a couple of handful of athletes over the years ask for it and, like I said, I’ve had three guys who competed on it, so not much… but I have a feeling, like I said, from the recent influx of people e-mailing me or calling me and wanting to know, ‘well, what’s the procedure, my doctor says I have this issue,’ and, okay, well, if that’s true, you’re going to have to jump through all these hoops. I mean, again, we require what WADA requires and then some additional things. So, I’m not sure how you can get more serious than that? But on the flip side, too, I don’t want it to be a scarlet letter, you know. I mean, that seems to be the attitude. You see some people, even some people that have medical degrees make comments like, ‘well, they should not allow any TRT exemptions.’ Really? Really? That’s about the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever heard in my life! That’s one thing.”
As we pointed out in the article in which I am quoting from here, Keith Kizer recently has a history of making public comments that are intended to be verbal jabs at Dr. Margaret Goodman, who operates the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
(A perfect example of Kizer’s petulant behavior towards Dr. Goodman can be read here.)
So, why is he mad at Dr. Goodman? She doesn’t believe in Therapeutic Use Exemptions for testosterone, he does. He says testosterone usage shouldn’t be used as a scarlet letter against fighters. Dr. Goodman believes that the T/E ratio for standard urine tests with athletic commissions should be on a 4:1 ratio instead of a 6:1 ratio. While Kizer has softened his stance recently on this topic, he has been an ardent defender of a 6:1 T/E ratio in the past.
So, despite the Nevada State Athletic Commission cooperating with VADA for supplemental drug testing, there’s clearly a history here with Kizer and his difference of opinion with Dr. Goodman. We’ve been consistent in pointing this out when others will not do so.
Lamont Peterson failed a VADA drug test due to synthetic testosterone being revealed in his urine sample. According to Peterson’s camp, the fighter had been given testosterone pellets by a doctor due to low testosterone levels. The pellets were allegedly designed as such so that the levels of testosterone absorbed would be at lower levels and thus would mean a lower T/E ratio than most synthetic testosterone users who get caught with high T/E ratios right after said usage.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy has been furiously blaming both Peterson and Dr. Goodman/VADA because of how late in the game the disclosure of the failed A sample was revealed. Schaefer doesn’t really have a case here, as we’ll explain here in a second.
Schaefer isn’t the only one who is blaming Dr. Goodman about the date in which the test result was disclosed. Keith Kizer decided to take a shot at Dr. Goodman over this with Rick Reeno in an interview that I suspect, after further scrutiny, Kizer wishes he had not agreed to in the first place.
The Executive Director wants the fans to know that they’ve been punished by Dr. Goodman’s actions. I’m not kidding.
BoxingScene.com: Would this entire issue have been avoided if VADA, or someone from Team Peterson, would have informed your commission, or the other parties, about the positive test back in April?
Keith Kizer: I don’t know what the deal is. I’ve heard two different stories. I’ve heard they were supposed to let Khan and Golden Boy know and they didn’t. I’ve also heard they didn’t have that obligation to do so, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have built that into the agreement.
As you know, very similar, we caught Mr. [Alistair] Overeem with a failed drug test, very similar. It was a urine sample that was taken in March and a positive result came back in April. We immediately informed Mr. Dos Santos, we immediately let the UFC know, we immediately let the MGM know and there will be a fight for Mr. [Junior] Dos Santos on May 26th and there will be a card. All of the undercard fighters will get their fights on May 26th so the fight fans and the clean fighters are not penalized by this.
Why VADA would penalize the clean fighters and the fight fans by not disclosing it is something that you would have to ask Dr. [Margaret] Goodman, but I do have to give her and her group credit for catch this positive test. But I do think that they have to re-look at their reporting procedures.
Let’s explain why this answer is a bad one by Kizer here.
First off, the disclosure protocols by VADA in regards to the drug test result for Lamont Peterson falls in line with the disclosure process in the biggest professional sports leagues. When an athlete has a positive test result with their A sample, they can either accept the finding or they can appeal the result and have their B sample tested. If the B sample test affirms the A sample test result, then the test result is revealed. This is exactly the process in which the result of the synthetic testosterone finding was disclosed.
Second, VADA entered into agreements with both Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson. They are supplementally drug testing the fighters, while the Nevada State Athletic Commission is supposed to be the main drug testing regulatory body. Richard Schaefer admitted that he did not sign a contract with VADA, so he has no leg to stand on here in regards to why he didn’t find out sooner about Peterson’s failed test result.
I sympathize with Richard in terms of looking at this situation from his shoes as a promoter. The fight has been cancelled for May 19th and he has to find Khan a new opponent. However, this is the risk you take if you want a clean sport.
The reason Kizer took a shot at Dr. Goodman here about the disclosure date of the test result is because this is not the protocol that state athletic commissions follow. If a fighter fails a drug test based on a positive finding in their A sample, that test result is immediately revealed. If a fighter appeals, it’s only after the public disclosure of the A sample. This disclosure process is different than how the disclosure works for major professional sports leagues.
That’s difference number one. Difference number two, however, is a sleight-of-hand comment by Kizer in regards to comparing the failed drug test results of Alistair Overeem and Lamont Peterson.
The reason Alistair Overeem got caught by the Nevada State Athletic Commission is because the T/E ratio came back in the teens on the T side of the equation. That’s why he got caught. There was nothing fancy here with the standard urine test that Nevada used to catch him.
But what about Lamont Peterson? Would a standard Nevada urine test have caught his cheating? Comically, Kizer admits the following and allows his beef with Dr. Goodman to get the best of him:
BoxingScene.com: If VADA was not involved, a lot of people have asked if this was something that the Nevada Commission would have caught in Peterson’s system?
Keith Kizer: Probably not from the facts that I know. His [testosterone] level, by his doctor, was kept under 4 to 1, which is the lowest level used… some use 4 to 1 and some use 6 to 1. Even VADA uses 4 to 1, but they also use this CIR [carbon isotope ratio] test to detect synthetic testosterone regardless of your level and that’s what happened here.
My understanding is that his level was 3.77 to 1… and I don’t know if that was a purposeful attempt to conceal [his use] by keeping it under 4 to 1 or not. That’s a question for someone else and not for me. But regardless, the CIR was able to catch it without the level being high.
Kizer admits that a standard Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test would not have caught Peterson using synthetic testosterone because his T/E ratio was below 4:1. He admits that the reason the VADA test caught Peterson is because they use the Carbon Isotope Ratio standard for urine testing, which does in fact catch synthetic testosterone usage.
What makes this amusing is that when a fighter appeals a positive drug test result after their A sample is tested in Nevada, the drug testing standard Nevada uses on appeal for the B sample is… the Carbon Isotope Ratio standard. If this sounds horribly backwards to you, that’s because it absolutely is. Kizer admits here that the CIR standard they use on appeals for the B sample is not what they use for A sample testing, which is why Peterson didn’t fail a Nevada drug test in the first place.
Peterson’s camp admitted that he was using testosterone pellets last November, which was before his first fight with Khan. He didn’t get caught then on a standard drug test, did he?
As I’ve repeatedly said about Keith Kizer, this is a guy who desperately wants to be a celebrity commissioner but doesn’t want any of the media scrutiny that comes with the territory. In about 98% of the interviews he does, he’s never challenged on the contradicting statements he makes. When he is challenged, as he was by Mauro Ranallo over the issue of why Kizer considers marijuana to be a performance-enhancing drug, he gets hostile & catty to a point of unbearable whin rhetoric.
Boxing fans and media scribes may not have a lot in common with MMA fans, but they can certainly follow the trials & tribulations of what’s taken place in MMA circles in regards to drug testing and follow along as to what the future looks like when you have fighters proclaiming their need for testosterone & PEDs because of hypogonadism.
We’re here to help — and happy to do so.