News | Aug 03 2015

Why wasn’t Tony Thompson’s doping violation revealed sooner?

Thompson's dope test result was only revealed once his ban had expired, writes John Dennen
Tony Thompson
tony_thompson  |  Action Images

TONY THOMPSON tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a prohibited substance, after his second bout with David Price. The fight took place in July 2013 but the test result has only now come to light. More baffling still, the 18 month ban he was subsequently handed was dated to begin on November 23 2013 lasting until May 25 of this year, expiring before the ruling itself was made public. His punishment therefore ended before we even knew about Thompson’s violation.

Hydrochlorothiazide, banned because it’s a diuretic or masking agent, is found in medication used to treat high blood pressure. Thompson had recorded ‘high blood pressure’ in a medical declaration ahead of the fight. He did not have a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) before the fight, though he was allowed to apply for a retroactive TUE. In 2013 he told UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) he wished to apply for a TUE but he did not go on to provide them with sufficient information.

At a hearing UKAD accepted that Thompson’s use of hydrochlorothiazide was therapeutic and not intended to enhance his performance but that he was at a high degree of fault because athletes must do everything they can to avoid ingesting a prohibited substance. The American is an experienced international competitor but was also banned by the Austrian Boxing Federation for 12 months after testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide later in 2013.