Former light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan has been handed a two-year ban from all sport after testing positive for a prohibited substance, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said on Tuesday.
Khan, 36, returned a positive result for the anabolic agent ostarine following his loss to Kell Brook in Manchester in February 2022.
Ostarine is a drug designed to have similar effects to testosterone. It is present on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list as an anabolic agent and is prohibited in sport at all times.
Khan announced his retirement in May last year after his sixth-round stoppage defeat to fellow Briton Brook on Feb 19 but would be unable to return to the ring until April 2024.
He accepted a violation of anti-doping rules but said he had not intentionally ingested the substance, an argument accepted by an independent panel following a hearing in January.
Khan’s ban began on April 6, 2022 and will expire on April 5 next year.
Speaking about the verdict on Tuesday, Khan insisted that he had “never cheated”.
He said, “The amount that was in my system could have come from shaking peoples’ hands. I don’t know what the drug was in my system. I will give my views, but, like I say, I have never cheated in my life. I would never cheat.
“I am a retired fighter, and I have got this two-year ban now, which is quite strange. I have already retired anyway. No comeback plans at all.”
Khan became a household name in Britain after claiming a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, aged just 17.
He made his professional debut in July 2005 and four years later won the WBA light-welterweight title with victory over Andreas Kotelnik in Manchester.
Khan unified the WBA and IBF titles with a win over Zab Judah in 2011 but controversially lost his next fight to Lamont Peterson, who would subsequently test positive for synthetic testosterone.
He retired with a record of 34 wins and six defeats from 40 bouts.
UKAD chief executive Jane Rumble said: “This case serves as a reminder that UKAD will diligently pursue anti-doping rule violations in order to protect clean sport. “