BN: How do you reflect on your testing positive for the banned substance ostarine?
AK: The only little hint of sadness in my career is the drug-testing thing. If you look at the amount that was found in my blood — everyone has said this, but — UKAD [UK Anti-Doping] have done a statement. They said that it’s unintentional, and instead of giving me a four-year ban, they gave me a two-year ban. You know why? Because I didn’t have the source to prove how it got into my system. If I’d given them the source of how it got into my system, I would have won the case. It’s not like I lost the case, because they said that I didn’t cheat. I’m not a cheater.
It’s a bit of a sad thing, because it wasn’t going to give me any benefit, what was found in my system. It wasn’t going to give me any benefit in the fight. It wasn’t going to make me any stronger; any faster. I’ll give you an example, the amount that was in my body — say you got an Olympic-sized swimming pool; one grain of salt. That’s all they found — that’s the equivalent. That’s what it was.
BN: Do you know how it got there?
AK: No. I wish I knew. If I did know, and I’d given a valid reason to UKAD, I’d have been okay.
BN: You stayed on your feet while taking a lot of punishment from Kell Brook…
AK: That was roadwork from Bomac [then-trainer Brian McIntyre]. Trust me. A lot of people will be saying, “Maybe because he was taking something”. I’ve not really heard anyone say that, but if you think about it, I did all that roadwork — the training was different. It’s all in the book [Khan’s autobiography Fight For Your Life]. We would run every day. The amount of exercise that we did on the legs — I’ve realised now, maybe me going down [previously] was probably not my chin. I think it’s not having the strongest legs. Kell Brook is a hard hitter. He’s a big puncher — and he didn’t put me down, and he caught me with a good shot, but my legs still kept me up. It was the strength in the legs that kept me standing.
Another example of that is when I fought against [in 2010, Marcos] Maidana. [Conditioner] Alex Ariza had me running every day, and the legs were solid. Look at the other thing — Danny Garcia when I fought him [in 2012]. I got put down. Who trained me for that fight? Not Alex Ariza. When I’ve trained on my legs — Alex is another trainer who trains the legs solidly — you would be able to take a shot. So maybe the weakness was the legs.
BN: If you hadn’t retired would you be trying to clear your name?
AK: One hundred per cent. I’d have gone to UKAD and done a full investigation and made sure my name come out clean. It was just because I retired [that I didn’t]. “It makes no difference. I’m not going to fight again.” But the [uncertainty, from the public’s perspective…
It could have been from drinking from someone’s drink. A lot of my friends are on steroids, because they want to be big. The new thing is that everyone wants to be on steroids. I might have shared a drink with someone. But I’ve never cheated in boxing.
BN: Brook recently told Boxing News that it was you who demanded testing…
AK: I’m the one who said that I wanted drug testing. Can you believe that? Everything, I put in the book, because I know I’ve never been a cheater. Look at the performance I had [Khan was stopped in the sixth] I had nothing left. I was a flat fighter in that fight. I didn’t want to be there. If I knew I was on something I’d have psyched myself up. “I’m on this, and I’m gonna be stronger.”
The full interview with Amir Khan will be in the next edition of Boxing News.