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Kazuto Ioka and team raise questions over JBC’s handling of reported drug test failure

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Ioka and legal representatives have major questions about the JBC’s handling of the drug testing.

BOX-WBO-JPN-PUR Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images

Yesterday, news broke about a possible failed urine test for super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka.

Today, new developments reported by two major Japanese newspapers are raising questions about the accuracy and validity of the Japanese Boxing Commission’s testing process and protocols.

The Ashahi Shimbun (mercifully, published in English online) discusses two major failures in the testing process: a lengthy delay in notification, and a failure to retain the original samples for retesting.

Their sources say Ioka’s original failed test dates back to January, with the alternate sample tested later by a different lab that also found “traces of several banned substances”.

Sankei Sports (with a critical assist from Google Translate, so no quotes here) reports that after Ioka’s second test was conducted in late February on half of the stored backup urine sample, the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) gave the remaining half to the police.

JBC rules state that fighters who fail a test can appeal or request another test of their sample. But, in this case, there’s apparently no saved urine left to test.

It’s a unique situation in more ways than one, as a JBC official told The Ashahi Shimbun that they’ve never had a positive test in a world title fight before.

Ioka’s lawyers and management denied to both papers that the fighter has ever used banned or illegal substances.

Bad Left Hook will continue to update as the story develops.