Gilbert's B sample positive for steroid

RENO - Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said Tuesday that Reno middleweight Joey Gilbert's B sample tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol metabolite and that the commission would seek a Jan. 24 agenda hearing on the matter.

The 31-year-old Gilbert, 16-1 with 12 knockouts, has been on temporary suspension since his one-round knockout over Charles Howe Sept. 21 at Grand Sierra Resort.

In pre- and post-fight urinalyses, Gilbert originally tested positive for six banned substances - methamphetamine, amphetamine, Stanozolol metabolite, noriazepam, oxazepam and temazepam.

The A sample was tested and re-tested by Quest Diagnostics. Subsequent evaluations of Gilbert's B sample were conducted at the Center for Human Toxicology at the University Utah, and he tested negative for methamphetamine. The Nevada attorney general and the commission subsequently dropped their pursuit of the charge.

Gilbert's case has turned out to be as simple and as complex as can be. On one hand, Kizer said, the commission is only concerning itself with the presence of the five banned substances in Gilbert's system, not with how they got in his system, whether it was knowingly or unknowingly.

Kizer said the commission is also concerned that this was the second time that Gilbert tested positive for amphetamine, noriazepam, oxazepam and temazepam.

Gilbert initially tested positive for the substances after stopping Juan Astorga in 10 rounds May 12 at Reno Events Center and was subsequently warned not to ingest the drugs before or during a fight.

Gilbert, who rose as high as No. 4 in the WBO, was stripped of his WBO-affiliated North American Boxing Organization middleweight title Dec. 18 because he was unable to defend the belt every four months.

It is not known if Gilbert will also be stripped of his WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing Championship (WBC USNBC) belt.

Gilbert also tested positive for Stanozolol metabolite in an independent test conducted Oct. 5 by Quest Diagnostics. He has consistently denied taking any illegal drugs and has submitted a hair sample and a polygraph examination to the commission in support of his contentions.

Reno's Richard Putnam, of Applied Polygraphics, conducted the polygraph test Oct. 18-19 and said that, in his opinion, Gilbert was being truthful when he said he had never "knowingly taken steroids or methamphetamine."

Putnam said the Washoe County Public Defender's Office subsequently concurred with his conclusion.

Gilbert's attorney - Reno's Mark Schopper - has maintained that his client's reputation has been irreparably damaged by the commission's original public disclosure that Gilbert had tested positive for methamphetamine.

"Kizer also said Joey tested positive for methamphetamine, which we now know is false," Schopper said Tuesday. "As far as prescription medications, not only did the commission know he was on them (at one time), he didn't take them before or during the fight."

In addition to taking over 70 over-the-counter supplements, Gilbert admitted to taking the presciption drug Valium for sleep and a stimulant to treat Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Kizer has said that the Valium would account for positive tests for noriazepam, oxazepam and temazepam, but that wouldn't excuse Gilbert taking the drug before a fight after being warned by the commission not to.

Schopper said he would ask for a continuance before the proposed Jan. 24 hearing.

Kizer said Schopper would have to submit the request in writing and that the commission would likely grant a continuance until around the third week in February.

Schopper said there is a host of problems with Quest's testing procedures as well as what he characterized as a lack of protocol by the commission.

"It's difficult to prepare for a January hearing when I've requested commission testing procedures and they say they don't have any," Schopper said. "That's amazing to me, because every professional sporting body that oversees professional sports has a testing procedure except for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversees the Fight Capital of the World (Las Vegas)."

Schopper said he requested in writing the commission's protocol, but that it left it to an outside entity - Quest - to define what constitutes a positive test. Schopper has said Quest has yet to answer that question in writing.

"The executive director (Kizer) has already convicted Joey in the media on tests for which the commission has no protocols and continues to say Joey tested positive, but refuses to provide me with what the cutoffs (for positive tests) are," Schopper said. "If it's as they say - that they care about fighters, the commission will put protocols in place."

Kizer said the five-member commission could decide on a wide spectrum of responses during the forthcoming hearing, all the way from no further suspension or fine all the way to an indefinite revocation of Gilbert's boxing license.

"We want to appear before the commission to present the evidence as well as any mitigating factors," Schopper said. "We have problems with Quest's protocols and want to reach the truth."


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