Gilbert hearing to be held


Appeal Sports Writer

RENO " The Nevada State Athletic Commission will hold an in-person meeting today to possibly decide the fate of Reno middleweight Joey Gilbert, who has been serving a temporary suspension since he scored a one-round technical knockout of Charles Howe Sept. 21 at Grand Sierra Resort, in Reno.

The five-member commission, which includes chairman John R. Bailey and Bill D. Brady, of Las Vegas, and Pat Lundvall, Raymond "Skip" Avansino Jr. and T.J. Day, of Reno, will convene at the Reno City Council Chambers office at 10 a.m. to consider a revised stipulated agreement that will be proposed by deputy attorney general Christopher Eccles and Gilbert's attorney, Reno's Mark Schopper.

When reached by phone at his office last week, Bailey said the commission would first decide whether to accept the revised stipulated agreement. The original stipulated agreement was presented May 24 at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, in Las Vegas.

The commission voted 5-0 to proceed to a full evidentiary hearing after rejecting the stipulated agreement, which proposed that Gilbert be granted time served and not fined after he originally tested positive for six banned substances, including Stanazolol metabolite (a steroid), in pre- and post-fight urinalyses following his win over Howe, of Grelton, Ohio.

At that time, three of the commissioners were in favor of accepting the time-served provision, but all were against imposing no fine against Gilbert, 16-1 with 12 knockouts, who had since been stripped of his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing Championship (USNBC) middleweight titles.

Bailey said he "imagined" that there would be a modified "fine component" in the revised stipulated agreement. If the commission accepts the agreement, the 32-year-old Gilbert, who first rose to international prominence on the NBC reality boxing show "The Contender," would be able to return to the ring for the first time in nearly 11 months.

In addition to being subject to the proposed fine, Gilbert would see his win over Howe change to a no-contest. Gilbert, a licensed attorney, also acted as a promoter in his fight against Howe, but his promoter's license has not been reactivated for 2008.

Bailey said the if the commission rejected the revised agreement, it was ready to immediately proceed to a full hearing. But Bailey said the latter contingency was unlikely.

"We've received a letter from Schopper indicating that if a full hearing was necessary, he wasn't prepared to go forward, that he hasn't received all documents from Quest."

Quest Diagnostics is the drug-testing agency that conducted the original urinalyses on Gilbert, who tested positive for Stanazolol metabolite, amphetamine, methamphetamine, nordiazepam, temazepam and oxazepam.

Gilbert's B sample was sent to the Center for Human Toxicology at the University of Utah and came back negative for methamphetamine in December. The commission and the attorney general's office subsequently chose not to pursue that charge.

When reached for comment Monday, Schopper said there was the possibility this already drawn-out affair could last even longer.

"I'm greatly dismayed that the commission and Quest hasn't turned over its drug-testing standards," said Schopper, who has openly questioned what he calls Quest's and the commission's lack of drug-testing protocols. "It appears the matter may drag out many more months for us to get the necessary information to defend the case. This result is grossly unfair to Mr. Gilbert."

Gilbert " who said he took up to 72 supplements leading up to his fight with Howe " admitted to the commission on May 24 that he had unknowingly ingested the Stanazolol metabolite. The other drugs, including Adderall and Valium, said Eccles, were prescribed.

Adderall, which Gilbert said he took for Attention Deficit Disorder, is a stimulant that metabolizes into an amphetamine, while Valium, a hypnotic that Gilbert said he took for insomnia, metabolizes into nordiazepam, temazepam and oxazepam.

Gilbert, who has denied taking ever taking any illegal substances, has produced the results from a polygraph test as well as a negative hair-test results that buttress his own defense.

The result of Gilbert's B sample as well as that of an independent test at Quest in October both tested positive for the Stanazolol metabolite.

The Reno City Council Chambers office is located at 1 E. First St. and the hearing is open to the public.


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