News October 2007

03.10.07 Joey Gilbert fails steroid test..

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Middleweight boxer Joey Gilbert was "shocked" by a report he tested positive for a combination of illegal substances and will launch an independent probe to clear his name before the Nevada Athletic Commission, his publicist said late Tuesday.

Gilbert has been temporarily suspended pending his appearance before the five-member commission to answer for the positive tests that include a steroid, methamphetamine and amphetamine, the Reno Gazette-Journal first reported on its Web site Tuesday.

Gilbert, 31, gained international attention on the NBC reality series The Contender, which aired in 2005. A licensed lawyer who was a three-time national collegiate champion at Nevada, Gilbert is 16-1 with 12 knockouts as a professional.

Gilbert told the Gazette-Journal "there's an absolute explanation for this."

"There's no doubt I'm going to be exonerated," he said, declining further comment.

Julia Peaua, a spokeswoman for Joey Gilbert Productions in Reno, told The Associated Press that Gilbert was not immediately available for comment. She said he never before tested positive for illegal substances and that he intends to comply completely with the commission's demands.

News of the suspension "came as a complete shock to Team Gilbert and Joey Gilbert personally," Peaua said.

"We were informed of the suspension through the media and at this time are yet to hear from the commission or see the report ourselves," she said in a statement.

"Pending an independent investigation, which will include a reporting of Joey's prescribed medications, a retesting of the commission samples and voluntary samples from Joey which will be completed in the next 24 hours, Team Gilbert will have no further statement at this time except to say the continued support of friends and fans is greatly appreciated."

The newspaper report cited a complaint for disciplinary action and notice of hearing issued by the Nevada Attorney General's office. It said Gilbert tested positive after submitting to a urinalysis before and immediately after he defended his United States middleweight title Sept. 21 against Charles Howe, knocking him out in the first round of their scheduled 10-rounder.

Nichole Moon, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, did not immediately return a call from the AP seeking comment.

The complaint said Gilbert tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol Metabolite, methamphetamine, amphetamine and three other substances -- nordiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam -- which are drugs or stimulants not approved by the commission, the newspaper said.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the commission that oversees boxing and mixed martial arts in Nevada, said Gilbert could face suspension, a fine or revocation of his boxing license. Gilbert has up to 20 days from Tuesday to answer the complaint for disciplinary action.

Gilbert holds the World Boxing Council-affiliated United States National Boxing championship and the World Boxing Organization-affiliated North American Boxing Organization middleweight titles.

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