Like many boxing fans, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Antonio Tarver’s performance against Lateef Kayode on June 2. The Showtime analyst barely escaped with a draw, prompting many to question his heavyweight title aspirations.
To make things worse for Tarver, the results of his post-fight drug test are in, and the 43 year-old boxer tested positive for anabolic steroids.
“A member of the California State Athletic Commission contacted me via text that Antonio Tarver tested positive for drostanolone – an anabolic steroid – in his pre-bout drug test,” Kayode’s manager Steven Feder said. “I’ve been aware of it, but I wanted to make sure I had the go-ahead from the commission to say this, but now it’s public information. It’s just unfortunate. … I’m going to meet with Lateef this afternoon, and once I do we’ll come out with an official comment. We’re just very surprised that someone of his stature would even take a risk and even do this. Neither one of us ever thought that someone at this level would ever do this.”
Given Tarver’s accomplishments and status as a boxing analyst, it’s certainly shocking to see him risk his reputation. To make things worse, his performance against Kayode wasn’t inspiring in any way, even with the alleged extra boost.
Ironically, Antonio Tarver has been very outspoken about drug use in boxing, something he has in common with other boxers who have been busted recently. The folks at Showtime are already distancing themselves from the controversy, and Tarver won’t be commentating during the June 23 fight card, headlined by Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez.
The result of Tarver’s fight against Kayode has been changed to a no-contest, but the IBO cruiserweight champion plans to appeal CSAC’s findings.
“Today’s news of a false positive caught me as well as my family and supporters by surprise,” Tarver Tweeted. “I apologize for the embarrassment it caused. … I have always been a proponent of a clean sport and an advocate for the most rigorous drug testing in boxing.”
Ryan Maquiñana, “Tarver Positive for Banned Substance After Kayode Bout”
Jake Donovan, “Tarver Will Fight Positive Test Result, Plans Appeal”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.