LONDON (AP) — Retired British boxer Amir Khan has been banned from all sports for two years after testing positive for a prohibited substance following what proved to be the last fight of his career.
Khan, a former light-welterweight world champion and Olympic silver-medalist, returned a positive result for anabolic agent ostarine after his loss to Kell Brook in Manchester in February 2022, UK Anti-Doping said Tuesday.
Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator that can help muscle growth and, according to UKAD, is designed to have similar effects to testosterone.
Khan, who announced his retirement three months after the fight, accepted a violation of anti-doping rules but said he had not intentionally ingested the substance. That was accepted by an independent panel following a hearing in January.
His ban will expire on April 5, 2024.
Reacting to the announcement, Khan — speaking in London — told Sky News he has “never cheated in my life.”
“You can see by my performance against Kell Brook — I lost the fight. If I went in there and knocked Kell Brook out it’s different,” he said.
The 36-year-old Khan said he found it strange he has been banned now that he is retired from boxing.
“If they ban me, they ban me,” he said. “I am retired anyway.”
One of the best British boxers of his era, Khan retired with a record of 34-6, though the independent panel has disqualified his result from the fight against Brook.
It’s a sad final entry to a career that started with a gold medal at the 2003 Junior Olympics and a silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004, aged just 17.
Khan won the WBA light-welterweight title with victory over Andreas Kotelnik in Manchester in July 2009, before unifying the WBA and IBF titles with a win over Zab Judah in 2011. He lost his next fight, to Lamont Peterson, who subsequently tested positive for synthetic testosterone.
Khan later lost world title fights again Danny Garcia, Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford.
In recent years, Khan has appeared on reality TV shows and is scheduled to be a participant on “I’m A Celebrity… South Africa” this month.