In an interview with Richard Conway of the BBC, Lamont Peterson apologized to Amir Khan for their rematch being canceled, and he and trainer Barry Hunter continue to try and clear the fighter's name as Peterson prepares to go before the Nevada commission next month to apply for a license.
If Peterson is denied in Nevada, which many currently expect to happen, his career will take a really major hit for up to a year. He could reapply later, but even then there would be no guarantee he'd get his license back.
Here's what Peterson had to say toward Amir Khan:
"(Khan) was looking forward to fighting. He had an opportunity to win his titles back. But that's not gonna happen now. So, yeah, I apologize to him, too, for not giving him the opportunity."
Peterson maintains that he made a mistake and tested positive due to a legitimate medical procedure:
"They're saying that it's testosterone. I can honestly say I made a mistake. I can honestly say I think it's wrong for anyone to call me a cheat. If the procedure I had done is what gave me the dirty urine, then what else can I say, other than I made a mistake."
Peterson and Hunter essentially pleaded ignorance, which I don't know will help. "It's not like we look at the PED list and try to figure out what's on there and what's not," said Peterson. Hunter explained that with the Olympic team, where Hunter has served as an adviser and trainer, they're given a pamphlet, but pro boxing doesn't have such measures. "Excuse us for being ignorant, but that's what it is," said Hunter.
It's going to be very tough for Peterson to convincingly explain why he didn't disclose the procedure, and why ignorance is a good enough excuse. I'm not naive, but something about this just doesn't scream out "drug cheat" to me. You can disagree with that, because I know a lot of people do, but I just don't see as of now a guy who deliberately tried to gain an advantage with a performance-enhancing drug.
Alex Ariza said this on WLIE the other day about the testosterone pellets in question:
"I can only speak about the situation as I heard it myself. My understanding is that Peterson has a testosterone deficiency, which is very, very common among men. My understanding is they said his levels were somewhere around that of an 80-year-old man. Doctors sometimes like to prescribe these slow-release pellets that release small amounts of testosterone into the system, and try to get their levels up. It's very, very rare that you can get your levels up to optimal levels using pellets instead of injections, but, you know, unfortunately he didn't disclose it, and it's kind of like spilled milk now. It's hard to go back and try to change things."
Unfortunately for Peterson, that probably sums it up fairly well: Maybe he didn't actually gain any enormous advantage, maybe it was a legitimate medical concern for him, but he had to disclose it. And he didn't. That alone will likely see him denied a license.
Peterson, of course, is hoping they can make a convincing enough case, and became pretty emotional at the end of the BBC interview:
"I know I didn't intend to cheat. I know that overall, as far as something that I asked (for) and wanted, to help clean the sport up, it's going to benefit that more. That's the way I feel. I just truly believe this didn't happen for no reason. I know I wasn't trying to cheat. So...end of the day, it really don't matter."