Amir Khan, former unified light welterweight champion, has spoken out on performance enhancing drugs in the sport, saying that users are dangers to themselves as well as opponents.
‘King’ Khan hung up the gloves this year after amateur and professional careers that will go down in British boxing history. As an ambassador for the sport at all levels, the Bolton man knows its benefits and dangers well. Speaking to SecondsOut, he said that fighters on PEDs should be banned for their own safety as well as the safety of potential opponents.
“I fought guys who were on steroids – Lamont Peterson for example – and they should be banned because they can’t only affect you, but they can affect [themselves] as well. Because they can take that much punishment without getting hurt, that they might never be the same fighter again, taking that much impact. You have to worry about them as well.”
“I think what the board needs to do is when someone tests positive, they have to really think two, three times about their decision that they’re going to make, because at the end of the day you know that if the person’s done it once before, he can do it again.”
As for the specific case that’s still at the centre of the larger debate, Khan said that his advice to Conor Benn would be tell the truth – regardless of what it is – and move forward. Benn was recently found to have failed two drugs tests before his fight with Chris Eubank Jr.
“My advice would be just come clean … If there is a mistake made there, just come straight and say ‘listen, there might have been a mistake here’ but, like I said, sometimes you might not even know how it got into your system … Half the time these young fighters get caught they don’t know how it’s got into their system, they might’ve just ate something, they might’ve had a coffee, they might’ve had a drink from someone …
So I do feel for him. I don’t know what I would say to someone like that because at the end of the day I’ve never been in that position myself, but I would say ‘look, God’s the best of planners, and the fight was not meant to happen maybe for a bigger reason, but you have to move forward from this and hopefully make your name clean.'”
There’s been a period of silence from Benn’s team since his first in-depth interviews on the doping drama. He’s expected to put forward a case of contamination in the coming weeks, however how that goes down with fans and, perhaps more importantly, the British Boxing Board of Control, remains to be seen.