Gilbert: Polygraph proves he’s been honest
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Ever since being informed on Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for six banned substances in pre- and post-fight urinalyses, Reno middleweight Joey Gilbert has steadfastly denied ever knowingly taking any illegal drugs.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old Gilbert supplied the Nevada State Athletic Commission with what he believes is proof of his veracity: the results of a polygraph examination and a hair test.
After stopping Charles Howe in one round Sept. 21 at Reno Events Center, Gilbert initially tested positive for methamphetamine, the steroid Stanozolol metabolite, amphetamine, noriazepam, oxazepam and temazepam.
The athletic commission last week informed Gilbert that it was dropping its pursuit of the methamphetamine charge after his B sample tested negative at the Center for Human Toxicology at the University of Utah, which is currently conducting a test for steroids on Gilbert’s B sample.
“Since the allegations of steroids and methamphetamine were leveled against me, I’ve worked tirelessly to find out what happened and to clear my name,” Gilbert said Wednesday in a written statement. “Fortunately, we were able to pull together the resources and experts to show that the methamphetamine allegation was false.
“I don’t know exactly what happened yet with the steroid test, but I do know that I have never knowingly taken steroids. I normally take dozens of different supplements and vitamins, and I just keep coming back to the question of whether some of them may have contained steroids.”
Gilbert said that he took the polygraph examination to show the NSAC and his family, friends and community that he was telling the truth, something his attorney, Reno’s Mark Schopper said was rare – perhaps even unprecedented in the world of sports.
“Hundreds of athletes have tested positive for banned substances and have blamed nutritional supplements or flawed tests,” Schopper said in a written statement. “The difference is that Mr. Gilbert took a polygraph test to back up his statements.
“We don’t see Barry Bonds, Floyd Landis, Marion Jones or any of the multitude of other athletes who have been accused of taking banned substances taking polygraph tests. Mr. Gilbert’s polygraph test results speak volumes about the sincerity of his denial of ever knowingly taking these substances.”
Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said he received the documents Wednesday, but said he couldn’t comment on them because he “wasn’t a polygraph expert.”
Kizer said that he would forward the documents to the commission members. He also said both Gilbert and the commission were still at the mercy of the Center for Human Toxicology when it came to the subject of setting a hearing date.
“We’re still hoping for (the results),” Kizer said. “We still haven’t heard from the University of Utah. It’s very surprising for both sides.”
The lab has had the samples for going on seven weeks now.
Schopper said Gilbert took the polygraph test after an unnamed commission inspector said he should prove he took neither the methamphetamine nor the steroids.
Richard Putnam, of Applied Polygraphics, which is based in Reno, conducted the tests Oct. 18-19.
Putnam said he has been conducting polygraphs since 1976 and had previously worked 15 years for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. He said he had conducted more than 4,400 polygraphs, and in his opinion Gilbert was truthful in saying he had never “knowingly taken steroids or methamphetamine.”
Putnam said the charts were also evaluated using POLYSCORE, a computer polygraphic chart evaluation program developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
He also said he used the Quantitative Evaluation System (QuESt) of the Layfayette Instrument Company, which he said was initially developed in the former Soviet Union.
Putnam said that polygraph examinations were incredibly reliable and are currently being used by the Japanese national police, Russia, South Africa and South and Central America.
The results of Gilbert’s test were reviewed by the Washoe County Public Defender’s Office, which Putnam said concurred with his opinion that Gilbert was being truthful.
Schopper said even though he and Gilbert were hoping the results of the B sample come back negative, it’s a possibility that one or more of the dozens of supplements Gilbert uses could contain steroids.
“A study released this month and reported on by USA TODAY, reported that 13 of the 52 supplements (25 percent) purchased at various U.S. retailers contained different amounts of steroids,” Schopper said. “Additionally, six (11.5 percent) of the supplements contained banned stimulants.
“Likewise, the New York Times reported in 2002 that a study commissioned by the International Olympic Committee revealed that a quarter of the 600 over-the-counter nutritional supplements that were analyzed contained banned substances that could lead to a positive drug test.”
Schopper said he understood the public’s and commission’s skepticism because of the amount of athletes who claim their supplements had been laced, but that the polygraph results should be given due consideration by the commission.
“We look forward to addressing the steroid allegation, as well as the allegations relating to Mr. Gilbert’s Attention Deficit Disorder medication and sleep medication before the commission in January,” Schopper said.
Gilbert said he wanted to impress on the commission and the public that he is willing to take responsibility for his actions, whether they were performed knowingly or unknowingly.
“I have a lot of respect for the job the athletic commission does in protecting the sport I love,” said Gilbert, who has been on temporary suspension since Sept. 21. “Whatever the outcome of the remaining test, I will take accountability for whatever was in my system. I just want everyone to know I’m being truthful. That’s why I took the test.”