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Another Failed Roids Test

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Toney camp blames medication for positive testESPN.com news services



James Toney's reign as a heavyweight champion could be a brief one after a positive drug test following his WBA title fight with John Ruiz.


Toney violated the illegal substance policy of the New York State Athletic Commission, which Wednesday asked that Toney's WBA title victory over Ruiz be changed to a no-decision as the result of a positive drug test.


The commission also suspended Toney for 90 days, retroactive to April 30, and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine. He must submit himself for drug testing.


In a statement issued Wednesday, Toney's co-promoter admits the boxer's tests reflected the steroid nandrolone. But Toney's camp said that medicine used to help Toney heal following bicep and tricep surgeries helped create the steroid, thus triggering the positive test.


"Being accused of taking performance enchancing substances is an insult to me. I don't do drugs period," Toney said in the statement. "I've never used any illegal substances to prepare myself for a fight."


In the statement, Toney co-promoter Dan Goossen said: "Toney received medical treatment for recovery from his biceps and triceps surgery last year. His doctor has stated that the combination of medications used to control the inflammation and tissue growth caused the positive test result. This is further supported, since the body, in combination with the medications, naturally create the form of substance ("nandrolone") reflected in the test results."


New York athletic commission chairman Ron Scott Stevens made the request Wednesday to Fight Fax, which handles an official national list of suspensions for boxers.


On Wednesday, Stevens told ESPN.com that Toney can file an appeal. Upon notice of his suspension, Toney has 30 days to request a hearing and then prepare to present his case for repeal of the penalty. Stevens refused to identify the banned substance.


Toney could be stripped of his title by the WBA. Under WBA regulations, the title would be given back to Ruiz, who lost the 12-round decision to Toney on April 30 in New York.


In the Toney camp statement, Goossen said: "It would be unjust for the sport to reprimand a fighter who was under a doctor's care and direction many months before in healing a career threatening injury."


Ruiz announced his retirement after losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Toney at Madison Square Garden, but on Monday said he wasn't going to retire after all and would fight again.


Toney became just the third former middleweight champion to win a piece of the heavyweight title when he won the decision over Ruiz. The 5-foot-9 Toney weighed 232 pounds for the fight.


Some states recently began testing fighters for steroids, mostly in title fights, but only one other fighter of note has tested positive. That was Fernando Vargas, who was fined $100,000 and suspended for nine months following his loss to Oscar De La Hoya in September 2002.


Unlike Toney, whose body was soft and had visible fat, Vargas was muscular and chiseled in his fight with De La Hoya. Toney is one of four fighters who own various pieces of the heavyweight title.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.


What a dope. Now he successfully aided John Ruiz in a comeback and gave the belt back. I thought we finally saw the last of Ruiz, now thanks to Toney there will be many more boring Ruiz fights to come.

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what a crock, this guy fooled everyone into beleving that he was working so hard to get back and be a champion but it was all a lie.

everyone was praising him on HBO the other day for what he has gone threw and all the hours in the gym he has put in but now we now he has the juice to help him out.

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