Francois Botha questions drugs test accuracy

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 23:25 11/02/2013
Francois Botha
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DRUG CHEAT? South African boxer Francois Botha is questioning the accuracy of a pre-fight drugs test that revealed traces of the banned stimulant phentermine.

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Beleaguered boxer Francois Botha has questioned the accuracy of a pre-fight drugs test that revealed banned stimulants.

Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams secured a contentious unanimous points decision over the South African in their World Boxing Association heavyweight title fight in Brisbane on Friday night - an outcome facilitated by the bout being confined to 10 rounds rather than the advertised 12.

The test, which was taken last Tuesday, found that Botha was using the banned stimulant phentermine. His urine sample also found traces of the suppressant benzodiazepines, which is found in products like valium, a pathology report obtained by Fairfax Media showed.

The report from QML Pathology in Brisbane shows the results were not known until 11.44am on Saturday, the day after the fight, which was awarded to Williams on a unanimous points decision.

A copy of the report has been forwarded to WBA headquarters in Panama, which will decide what action to take.

As Queensland does not have compulsory drugs testing for boxers, the test was conducted independently and not by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

The 44-year-old former world champion was previously stripped of the International Boxing Federation title in 1996 after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone, which his camp claimed was prescribed for an arm injury.

Botha, who has returned home to Durban, disputed the findings of the test and said he intended to undergo testing in South Africa.

Bizarrely, Botha claimed in an interview with ONE News on Monday that the doctor who administered the drugs test was a brother of Williams's manager Khoder Nasser.

However, Fairfax Media knows the identity of the doctor, whose name appears on the pathology report, and he is not related to Nasser.

Nasser said the WBA required a blood test and Botha volunteered a urine sample.

“The blood test came back clean, the urine came back not clean,” he said.

Botha’s long-term adviser Howard Goldberg said the boxer was distraught over the findings.

"He’s very upset, he doesn’t believe it and wants to be tested in a lab in South Africa to see if it’s bullshit or not.’’

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Goldberg admitted Botha regularly took a sleeping pill on the eve of a fight and used “a lot of supplements” but was surprised phentermine was detected.

Australian National Boxing Federation vice president Alan Moore - one of three judges who scored the bout in Williams’ favour - was mystified as to why Botha would even provide a urine sample when it was not legally required.

Regional WBA representative Brad Vocale has also said he doubts the fight was ever sanctioned by the WBA and that ''sadly, boxing has been given a black eye again.''

- Stuff

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