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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

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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.

CLICK HERE to read our crash course primer on testosterone, hypogonadism, and doping in combat sports.

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. 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: 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.

Topics: Boxing, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 20 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

20 Responses to “Open mouth, insert foot: Keith Kizer’s attack on Dr. Margaret Goodman backfires (updated with crash course link)”

  1. Jentil says:

    If his TE ration was below 4:1 then who gives a shit… Kizer doesnt say this because only adults would understand.

    • Kalle says:

      You seem to have the impression that the ratio is important in itself. It isn’t. The ratio is only a tool used to expose cheaters. There are other tools you can use, such as the mentioned carbon isotope ratio test, that will also expose cheating.

      And lets be clear, adults would understand that cheating is the issue, not whether you can pass a TE ratio or not.

  2. Brian says:

    Uh, it matters because he had synthetic testosterone in his system? Of which he had no documented need for (hence the failed test and likely refusal of license)? His camp saying “oh, a doctor prescribed it” after the fact is just them trying to cover their bases. If he’s been on this treatment since the first Khan fight, why is this the first time anyone’s heard about it? If it was a legitimate medical need, all of this should have been cleared away when the treatment started. But it wasn’t. Kizer even admits to the fact that Peterson’s ratio could be construed as a purposeful attempt to conceal his usage (just skirting the WADA limit). A lot of hearsay and conjecture, but this whole affair is certainly not on the up and up. That’s why people give a shit.

  3. Weezy02 says:

    Just out of curiosity, who paid Dr. Goodman’s company for this test? Typcially in Athletic Commission setting the promoter on record or fighter would pay for the testing. When WADA is testing, typically a sanctioning body would pay (IOC, IAAF, etc….). Does anyone know who compensated Dr. Goodman’s organization in this case?

    • otusa says:

      As stated in the article, VADA entered into a contract with Khan and Peterson. Hence the fighters paid VADA.

  4. liger05 says:

    In theory could other boxers/fighters be doing the same thing peterson was doing and beating the standard test due to the T/E ratio being lower than 4:1?

    From what I have noticed the difference in reaction between boxing forums and MMA forums to the peterson and overeem news is huge.

    Ed. — It’s easy to manipulate the T/E ratio if you’re good at cycling. Many gels & creams get out of the system within hours. That’s why CIR, at least for urine testing, is a solid standard to catch the majority of cheaters who are sloppy with their doping.

  5. Tomer says:

    To be fair about the first Khan-Peterson fight, Washington D.C. was the commission, not Nevada, so Kizer and the NSAC had nothing to do with the testing in that case.

  6. Bob says:

    Testosterone pellets?

    For 30 or more years, these type of pellets have been used in animal agriculture in the form of implantable pellets to increase tissue mass (often an anabolic mixed with an estrogen to increase marbling “fat” and weight/tissue gain). The form of the steroid used is usually an ester of some sort (basically a fat molecule is attached to the steroid).

    Depending on the type of molecule used (acetate, stearate, etc) there may be a higher potency for the anabolic mainly due to the ester acting like a time-release mechanism.

    A fair bit of research is also be put into the actual pellet material as well, with different layers of the pellet having differing release characteristics.

    I wonder how long before we see people doping with 13C to try and skew the isotope ratio. Depending on the persons diet (greater intake of plants that are less efficient at excluding 13C) the ratio may be similarly affected.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    These Athletic Commissions and Special Testing Groups are such cluster f#cks. It’s like the blind leading the blind.



    Any thoughts on King Mo Lawal signing a joint Bellator & TNA contract? I can understand why SpikeTV and maybe even TNA would want this…. But this is a huge no-no for an American MMA organization to do. Some people already think MMA is Pro Wrestling. This is certainly blurrying the lines far too much.

    Not to mention how does one train for Pro Wrestling matches and also compete athleticly. I guess it is not much of a problem when the #1 guy in his division is Travis Wiuff, but still….

    I think it is obvious that Rebney & SpikeTV aren’t getting the traction they wanted with Bellator even on MTV2…. And this is probably the first of many questionable decisions to come in order to increase viewership.

    Ed. — I will write an article about this story soon. There are some eerie parallels to Japan here.

    • Vadim says:

      Mo had publicly stated that he wanted to do pro wrestling in the past, and TNA’s ratings are abysmal so there isn’t really any added exposure for Bellator. I doubt Bjorn was hard selling Mo on working for TNA and Bellator as a positive. Its a bad idea but I don’t think Bellator really cares that much their LHW division is pretty weak anyways.

      • Steve4192 says:

        “TNA’s ratings are abysmal so there isn’t really any added exposure for Bellator”

        TNA’s ratings aren’t that bad. They were regularly beating TUF in the ratings by the end of 2011. They are a HUGE step up from what Bellator is getting on MTV2. As an added benefit, Mo gets to earn a living while suspended from MMA, and SpikeTV gets to build him up as a star prior to arrival of Bellator in 2013.

  8. Chris says:

    Keith Kizer, the gift that keeps on giving.

  9. edub says:

    Peterson was just on the Mike Wise show with Andre Hunt. I tried to call in (and even tried to name drop Queensberry-rules and Lowkick), but didn’t get air time. Their explanations are full of holes, and even tried to allude to tampering at one point.

  10. david m says:

    While I don’t necessarily disagree with your conclusions, Zach, I wish you would play it a bit more neutral instead of trying to tell the reader who is right and who is wrong. This is supposed to be a news article, not a Zach Arnold opinion-masquerading-as-news-article.

    Ed. — As an opinion article, I thought I did well. As a news article in terms of pointing out Kizer’s motives & contradictory statements, I scored there as well. Nice blend.

    • Steve4192 says:


      Last I checked, the name of this site is FightOPINION, not FightNEWS. If you are coming here for just the facts and no editorial opinion, you are coming to the wrong place.

      • David M says:

        something calling itself a primer article is not supposed to be so much of an editorial. Thanks for pointing out the name of the site to me.

  11. SmackyBear says:

    “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.”

    I don’t completely agree. If it’s true that the B sample was testing was finished back on April 30th as your cited article says, why did VADA wait until Monday, May 7th to inform the commission? That seems like an unnecessary delay.

    I do agree with you that the NSAC testing could improve. But not even WADA does CIR for every urine sample. Hell, I read a paper by IIRC the head of a WADA lab at Cologne who recommended moving the T:E ratio threshold back to 6:1 since the 4:1 ratio was a drain on lab resources and barely caught anyone over five years.

    Dr. Goodman said the testing VADA does costs about $6,000 per fighter. You can’t really expect an AC with a budget of less than a million dollars to offer comparable testing.

  12. […] petty vendettas which leads to, in our opinion, public attacks on character of other individuals. Just ask Dr. Margaret Goodman. One thing we’ve learned from all of Zuffa’s lawsuits in Las Vegas and what happened […]

  13. […] director who hands out Therapeutic Use Exemptions for testosterone usage by fighters in Nevada, threw a misguided temper tantrum about Dr. Margaret Goodman after Peterson failed the VADA test because it cost Nevada money for […]


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