Promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed that more people knew of Amir Khan’s failed doping test than are keen to admit.
News broke this week that the former unified world champion failed a post-fight test after losing to Kell Brook in February of 2022. Khan would go onto retire.
He was informed of the failed test in early April by UKAD, and claimed that the small amount in his system wasn’t there intentionally. This was then passed to an independent panel who served him a two-year ban from all sports in a final decision dated February 2023. The ban was backdated to the when the substance was found.
Fans – and Brook – are incensed that this process has been going on for over a year whilst they were kept unaware.
Speaking to IFL TV, Hearn said that he was certain people involved in the promotion and broadcast knew about the situation before the news broke.
“I’ll just keep it real. I didn’t know, but I know a lot of people involved with that fight knew.
And when I say ‘knew’, there’s a difference between receiving correspondence from UKAD or knowing, hearing that it’s happened. And people from the promotion, the broadcast, certainly the British Boxing Board of Control, they knew about that situation.”
It has been confirmed by the BBBofC’s General Secretary, Robert Smith, that he was informed of the failed test on April 6 2022 at the same time as Khan.
UKAD told Boxing Social that the process when a banned substance is found is to let both the athlete and the Board know.
Hearn, though, says it’s standard practice for the Board to then get in touch with the promoter.
“People say ‘oh the promoter doesn’t get alerted’ – yes they do. When Dillian Whyte failed a UKAD test Robert Smith knew immediately and contacted me immediately to let me know.
You’re telling me that the promoter of the show wouldn’t find out that a fighter on his show had tested positive in a post fight test? All right. Whatever.”
Shalom, who promoted the Sky Sports show, told Boxing Social that he found out via social media at the same time as fans on April 4 2023. He also said the Smith told him he only found out this week, too.
Hearn referred to the situation as ‘another complete mess’, and branded the BBBofC and UKAD, in terms of testing, ‘not fit for purpose. Amir Khan continues to claim innocence.