Retirement has not been a joy ride thus far for Amir Khan.
The 2004 Olympic Silver medalist and former unified junior welterweight champion was issued a backdated two-year suspension from all sports after testing positive for the banned substance ostarine—an anabolic agent used to assist muscle growth—following his knockout loss to longtime rival Kell Brook last February 19.
Traces of ostarine were discovered in a post-fight testing sample but only now has the news come to light.
UKAD announced that Amir Khan will remain suspended through next April 5, albeit the 40-year-old is retired from the sport, as per a two-year ban dated back to last April when the testing agency informed the boxer of its findings.
“Mr. Khan's two-year ban is deemed to have commenced on April 6, 2022 and will expire on April 5, 2024,” UKAD declared in a statement released Tuesday.
UKAD ruled that Khan did not deliberately ingest the substance, but still held the fighter liable for negligence.
“It is inconceivable that he would have sought to ingest a micro-dose which would have been a fraction, at least 1,000 times less of a dose intended to provide any performance enhancement or any other competitive advantage.”
UKAD revealed that Khan was issued a provisional suspension from all sports on April 6 last year.
Khan issued a statement upon learning of the ruling, which matched with UKAD's report.
“I have never cheated,” Amir Khan told Sky Sports.
“The amount that was in my system could have come from shaking peoples' hands. I don't know what the drug was in my system. I will give my views, but, like I say, I have never cheated in my life. I would never cheat.
“I am a retired fighter. You can see by my performance against Kell Brook [that it] wasn't the best. I lost the fight. If I went in there and knocked Kell Brook out it is different. I have never cheated in my life. I am the one who wanted the testing done.”
Khan-Brook was presented by BOXXER, who was apparently unaware of the positive drug test until Tuesday's ruling.
“BOXXER is disappointed to only learn via social media this morning that Amir Khan has been suspended from all sports following UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) rule violations,” the company noted in a press statement.
“BOXXER is vehemently against any use of any illegal or performance enhancing substances taken by athletes and condemns such unsporting behaviour. It goes against the very core of our company’s values.
“We will await further advice from all the relevant authorities.”
Khan (34-6, 21KOs) ended a near three-year hiatus to face Brook (40-3, 28 KOs) in a long-awaited fight that fans had wanted for more than 13 years. It didn't end up being worth the wait as Brook destroyed Khan in six rounds at Manchester Arena.
Now suspended, even if Khan were to consider coming out of retirement, he would have to wait until 2024. He reiterated that he is “a retired fighter.”
“I have got this two-year ban now, which is quite strange. I have already retired anyway. No comeback plans at all.”
Amir Khan won for the final time in July 2019, when he knocked out former 126-pound titleholder Billy Dib in the fourth round of their 147-pound affair in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His last big fight came against Terence Crawford.