Why has Amir Khan been banned from boxing? Former world champion accused of taking ostarine - what is it?

Amir Khan was beaten by Kell Brook when the pair met in February last year

Amir Khan has been banned from boxing. (Getty Images)Amir Khan has been banned from boxing. (Getty Images)
Amir Khan has been banned from boxing. (Getty Images)

Former world champion and Olympic medallist Amir Khan has been banned from boxing for two years after an anti-doping test revealed the presence of a prohibited substance.  A sample from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) contained an adverse analytical finding for ostarine in the lead-up to his fight against Kell Brook in February 2022.

In a statement UKAD said: “Professional boxer and Olympic medallist Amir Khan has been banned from all sport for two years following Anti-Doping rule violations for the presence and use of a prohibited substance.” Khan has reportedly accepted the violations but maintained that his “ingestions of ostarine was not intentional.” But what is ostarine and what is the drug used for?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is ostarine?

UKAD defines ostarine as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) which is a drug designed to have similar effects to testosterone. It is typically used for stimulating tissue growth like muscle and bone. Ostarine is not approved for human consumption in any country and it is strictly prohibited at all times in sport by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Ostarine can be found in other products - but only illegal ones. Doctors would never be able to prescribe a treatment or medication that contains it. Ostarine has a number of dangerous side effects which make it unsafe for consumption and it is believed to cause liver damage and heart attacks. There is interest in ostarine to treat a number of muscle wasting diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis and hypogonadism.

Who is Amir Khan?

Amir Khan is a former world champion boxer who rose to fame in 2004 when he lifted a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Athens. Khan became a professional boxer in 2005 and he won the WBA light-welterweight title in 2009 when he defeated Andreas Kotelnik at Manchester Arena.

During his 17-year-career Khan faced some of the biggest names in boxing including Terence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez and Marco Antonio Barrera. Khan is well known out of boxing for his appearance in the reality TV series I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2017.

The Bolton born boxer is also known for his own reality TV show Meet the Khans: Big in Bolton which is centred around his extravagant lifestyle with wife Faryal Makhdoom. Khan faced his final battle in the ring against Kell Brook in February 2022 with the long-term rivals agreeing to meet each other in a catchweight bout.

Khan was defeated in the sixth round during his final fight with Brook and retired with a career record of 34 wins and six defeats. The 36-year-old is due to appear in a spin-off series of I’m A Celeb titled All Stars alongside former contestants such as Shaun Ryder and Helen Flanagan later this year.

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