Antonio Tarver, who failed a California State Athletic Commission drug test earlier this year, had his one-year suspension upheld at a commission hearing this afternoon.
The California State Athletic Commission upheld the one-year suspension of Antonio Tarver, likely effectively ending his boxing career.
The 43-year-old Tarver failed a drug test earlier this year, testing positive for a steroid often used for weight-cutting. At today's hearing, Tarver really had no defense, instead painting himself as a good guy, an ambassador for the sport, and someone who'd never failed a test before. These things may be true, but as one of the commissioners put it, he wasn't giving any evidence or anything close to evidence that there was something faulty about the positive test.
Basically, Tarver wanted to have his suspension lessened or revoked, "just because."
The commission made the right decision today, particularly because Tarver didn't really have an argument, or even an excuse. At his age, he's probably pretty much done in the ring -- his fight with Lateef Kayode wasn't very good anyway, and surely didn't encourage folks to watch him again.
The only "evidence" Tarver really presented was a photo of the weigh-in, where he was a bit flabby -- his reasoning, of course, the generalized idea that steroids make you ripped and cut and buff and all this. They can, but it's far more likely that Tarver or anyone in his position would be using drostanolone for its weight-cutting effects, especially when you consider that he also stated he had to cut weight to make 200 pounds for the fight. He didn't say how much or give a time frame for his tough weight loss period, but he said that there was one.
While I think the suspension is correct, I do think that in time, Showtime should bring Tarver back as a commentator, unless there were deeper issues between Tarver and the network than we know about, which is possible. I don't know. Maybe not right away, but when this episode is further in the rearview mirror, I'd like to see him back. He was good at the job, and I just don't think it really matters if a commentator failed a drug test at some point.