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March 25, 2013


Last month, middleweight contender Sam Soliman traveled to Germany and defeated ex-titleholder Felix Sturm in an IBF eliminator. Weeks after the fight, but before Soliman could arrange for a title shot against Daniel Geale, the A sample of Soliman's doping test came back positive for a stimulant that was not on the IBF's list of banned substances.  The BDB, the German boxing federation supervising the bout, is now in a dispute with Soliman over how to conduct the B sample test, which is a necessary component of any drug testing program. Before any punishment can be given to Soliman (or any athlete), both the A and B samples must test positive. But a dispute has emerged on two key issues: where should the B sample be tested, and what substances should it be tested for? Unlike in the United States where boxing commissions are government run, the BDB is a provate oprganization that was hired by Sturm. Soliman, an Australian, wants the B sample tested outside of Germany, and only for substances contained on the IBF's list.  Here is Soliman's official statement on the dispute: "Doping rules exist to prevent unfairness in sports, including boxing. We applaud them. However, when organizations violate their own anti-doping rules and procedures, as has happened in this case, honest boxers like Sam Soliman can be falsely accused and suffer serious reputational harm. Mr. Soliman did not commit any doping offense whatsoever. He did not consume any substance outside the IBF rules of his bout, and conducted himself honorably, diligently, and in full compliance with the relevant IBF anti-doping provisions. The A Sample did not test positive for any substance identified under the relevant rules, and testing of the B Sample, as yet unopened, with identical results will in no way change that truth. The B Sample should be opened by a licensed, trusted, and impartial laboratory in the United States and tested for the relevant, agreed-upon substances under the proper conditions. We look forward to Mr. Solimanís full exoneration and the continuation of his career as an athlete of integrity. -- Team Soliman Management. March 23, 2013. [Soliman is represented by an international team of sports-law experts: Michael Bates, Melbourne; Kurt Emhoff, Brooklyn, New York; Rick Collins, Mineola, New York, and Prof. Dr. Rainer Cherkeh, Hanover, Germany." --Scott Shaffer

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