LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - An HIV-positive boxer was allowed to fight in a Nov. 11 boxing match in south Arkansas after allegedly falsifying medical records with the commission, according to a published report.
The report from ESPN said the Arkansas State Athletic Commission allowed the boxer, whose name was not released due to medical privacy issues, due to the records.
"Since ADH (Arkansas Department of Health) sent ESPN a statement on Monday about the incident, we have learned that the HIV test results submitted to the Arkansas Athletic Commission were falsified," Arkansas Department of Health spokesman Meg Mirivel said.
ESPN reported that the state of Arkansas does not require boxers, wrestlers or mixed martial arts participants to complete blood tests. However, federal law requires state athletic commissions to check a suspension list before allowing the boxer to fight in the state.
The boxer is suspended from boxing in the state of Florida, ESPN said in their report.
A fight promoter in the state told ESPN he asked for the test to be done there the first time, which resulted in a positive test.
"I went ahead and retested him again to make sure that the test wasn't a false positive. And the test came back positive the second time. The kid was in denial and he had made a statement that he would fight in Arkansas because of their lax medical requirements. Because of the fighter's statement, I felt what he was going to attempt to do, with knowledge, was a criminal act," the promoter said, noting he then called authorities in Florida.
"The kid has been taking medications since then, so it is plausible that if he got tested in Arkansas, the result could come back negative due to him taking the medication, which suppresses the virus," the promoter said.
The boxer then went to Arkansas, ESPN said, noting the Arkansas Department of Health asked for test results of the boxers on the card. The results came back negative, officials said.
Mirivel told ESPN that the boxers were not tested by the commission or a lab affiliated with the commission. However, each of the boxers provided their own test results to the commission.
Authorities believe the boxer could face forgery and obstructing government operations charges in the state, while Arkansas may have violated federal law in the case.
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