Reno boxer Gilbert is suspended
October 2, 2007
Reno middleweight Joey Gilbert tested positive for six banned substances, including steroids and methamphetamine, following his first-round technical knockout of Charles Howe Sept. 21 at Reno Events Center, said Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer on Tuesday.
Following a post-fight urinalysis, Gilbert – a three-time national champion for the University of Nevada club boxing team – tested positive for stanozolal metabolite, which is an anabolic agent, methamphetamine, adderall (a stimulant usually prescribed for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), nordiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam.
Kizer said Gilbert also tested positive for the adderall, nordiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam – the latter three depressants are benzodiazepines in the Valium and Xanax family – after his 10th-round TKO of Juan Astorga May 12 at Reno Events Center.
“Before the May fight, Gilbert had to fill out a form listing what drugs he’d taken over the counter over the last 10 days,” Kizer said. “He didn’t list any. After we found out the results, he wrote a letter which said he had a prescription and why. (NSAC member) Tony Alamo wrote back and told him he couldn’t take those drugs anymore. This is his second offense on those drugs.”
Kizer said that Gilbert could’ve suffered a heart attack from the adderall, a cardiovascular restrictor, and that the stimulant would give him an unfair advantage over an opponent.
Kizer also said the commission checked with a chemist to see if taking a combination of these or other drugs could account for a positive on the stanozolal metabolite and methamphetamine.
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“The only way you test positive for steroids or methamphetamine is by taking them,” Kizer said.
Fernanado Vargas tested positive for stanozolal following his fight with Oscar De La Hoya in September 2002 and was subsequently suspended from boxing for eight months and fined heavily by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Kizer said Gilbert faces an Oct. 16 hearing similar to that of a temporary restraining order, which serves to inform him of the charges he faces and keep him temporarily suspended until the full hearing, which will be on Oct. 24 – or a bit later (possibly in November) if Gilbert requests.
Both hearings will take place in Las Vegas.
Kizer said there are several other consequences facing Gilbert, who is 16-1 with 12 knockouts. Gilbert is also a promoter and an attorney.
Before appearing on the NBC reality show “The Contender” in 2004, Gilbert attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego, Calif., and passed his Nevada bar exam on his third try.
“He’s possibly facing a year’s suspension (from boxing),” Kizer said. “We could take away his license and he couldn’t get it back any earlier than a year. We can fine him up to the full amount of his purse ($25,000). And he can’t work as a cornerman, manager or promoter during the suspension.”
The Nevada Appeal did not contact Gilbert for this article, but according to the Associated Press, the 31-year-old Gilbert was “shocked” that he tested positive for the substances and would launch an independent probe to clear his name before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to his publicist, Julia Peaua.
Gilbert holds the WBO-affiliated North American Boxing Organization middleweight belt and the WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing belt, which he defended against Howe.
Kizer said Gilbert is also subject to having his victory over Howe changed to a no-contest.
Gilbert recently fell from No. 4 in the WBO to No. 6 and will have to defend his NABO belt by the end of the year or lose it and his ranking in the WBO.
The Nevada State Bar was unavailable for comment on the consequences Gilbert faces as an attorney for testing positive for methamphetamine.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Kizer said of the incident. “We try to be fighter-friendly when they deal with us at the commission. We’re going to wait to hear from the fighter to get his side of the story.”
Kizer said the complaint was filed and a letter sent to Gilbert on Monday.
• Contact Mike Houser at email@example.com or 881-1220