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Amir Khan Stunned Over Positive Drug Test: “Could Be From Shaking Hands”

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BOLTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Amir Khan poses for a photographs as he takes part during a training session at Amir Khan Academy on June 19, 2019 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Former multi-division British world champion, Amir Khan, has sought to clarify matters through his latest interview on Sky Sports. The former unified Junior Welterweight champion had been tested positive for ostarine ― a substance which is linked to testosterone and is unanimously considered a banned substance ― after his fight with Kell Brook, a match in which he ended up being stopped by his longtime rival Brook.

Amir Khan retired in May of 2022 after roughly three months following his February fight with Kell Brook. Though his decision had been expected given the manner he lost and the long career he’s had, he had already been notified in April of his failed drug test, and the two-year ban that was put on him since then is set to expire next year in April of 2024.

In an effort to plead his own case to the public ― after previously successfully doing so with the UK’s National Anti-Doping Agency of which an independent tribunal ruled he had not knowingly or purposefully ingested ostarine to boost his performances, Amir Khan made an appearance on the highly-popular Sky Sports network.

I never took anything which was illegal.” Khan maintained during his interview. “I have a big team around me to make sure that I am taking the right supplements and the right things.

Amir Khan, who has never failed a drug test prior to this news, claims he had been tested eight times prior to facing Kell Brook, including a week prior to getting in the ring. However, the banned substance found in his system emerged around a month after his fight with Brook.

The retired British fighter therefore offered his own theory on how ostarine was found in his body.

It could be (from) meeting people or shaking people’s hands.” Amir Khan speculated. “The amount of ostarine that was (found) in my blood was 0.5, which is literally smaller than a grain of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, so I don’t how it got in my system. Shaking hands maybe, maybe sharing a drink with somebody. I don’t know how it came into my system.

Amir Khan also went on to showcase the letter he received from UKAD after their investigation of Khan’s case.

There is no rational explanation as to where the athlete ― who has been tested negative on three occasions between the 20th of January until the 12th of February ― should have been contemplated before the fight taken a very small dose, which would give no performance-enhancing advantage or any other pharmacological effect which a professional boxer might hope to obtain for such a small dose, nor could it be a rational motive to experiment with a micro dose in a period leading up to the fight.” Amir Khan stated while reading the UKAD’s report.

Amir Khan went on to explain that UKAD’s message shows proof that he had not purposefully taken any performance-enhancing drugs, and he went on to clarify that the amount found in his body was too insignificant to give him a boost in performance. He did, however, accept the charge of (unknowingly) ingesting something edible that contained ostarine, which spurred the UKAD to put him on a two-year ban.

Despite his claims and the UKAD’s own report, many of his contemporaries in boxing, including former rival Kell Brook, have scathed Khan for his alleged use of PEDs.

After hearing and seeing about this today, he’s being straight away unfollowed.” Kell Brook remarked coldly during his recent iFL TV interview. “He’s going there to try to hurt me on some kind of drug what he’s been on.

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The well-known rivalry between Amir Khan (L) and Kell Brook (R) may have returned following the latter’s recent comments. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Kell Brook maintained he believed that Amir Khan took PEDs to try to intentionally hurt him, but concurrently he has had his own issues with drug use, and he had no qualms in facing Conor Benn who is currently involved in his own trails and tribulations after failing two drug tests.

Though there is likely to be a back and forth in the boxing world as to whether Amir Khan knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs or not, the former British Super Lightweight champion will be forced to see out his ban until 2024, even though he is retired and hasn’t given any indication he would return to the ring anyway.