D.A. Investigating Whether W. Klitschko Was Drugged
Boxer Hires Lawyer to Probe Possible Foul Play Before Loss to Brewster
LAS VEGAS (May 5) -- Wladimir Klitschko is going on the offensive.
Wladimir Klitschko stumbles to his corner in a loss to Lamon Brewster.
Less than a month after his loss to Lamon Brewster, the Ukrainian heavyweight has launched a legal inquiry into the events surrounding the fight.
Specifically, Klitschko is seeking answers regarding a sudden drop in odds just prior to the April 10 fight, a missing press credential and the whereabouts of his postfight drug and urine specimens.
Klitschko has hired lawyer Judd Burstein and is seeking answers from Daniel Bogden, the U.S. District Attorney in Nevada. The letter of inquiry claims Bogden is looking into the possibility that Klitschko was drugged or poisoned prior to, or during, the bout.
"I have thought long and hard about requesting an investigation because I am concerned that the public, and particularly my fans, will see me as making excuses instead of taking responsibility for a loss," Klitschko said. "That is not my intention. I simply want to know the truth."
In his bout with Brewster at Mandalay Bay, Klitschko was knocked down at the end of the fifth round. As he stumbled to his feet, referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight.
Byrd's comments following the fight that "I tried to get a response out of him but there was none. I've never stopped a fight like that," were included in Burstein's letter.
The document also alleges that odds prior to the fight went from 11-1 in favor of Klitschko to 3 1/2-1. The letter suggests that the late movement was made with no sound betting pattern and rings of insider information.
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Questions also surround the missing credential, which was supposed to go to a member of Klitschko's camp and issued upon presentation of proper photo identification. There was no documentation provided as to who ended up with or signed for the pass.
Emmanuel Steward, Klitschko's veteran trainer, also offered support for foul play, claiming in the letter, "Wladimir was in perfect shape for the bout.
"In all my years as a trainer, I have never seen anything like this. I know when a fighter is hurt from an opponent's punches. In this case, there was something else causing Wladimir's problems."
Klitschko was hoping testing of postfight blood and urine samples would reveal any possible inconsistencies, but his specimens were inexplicably destroyed.
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A physical examination April 26 found Klitschko in perfect health, all but eliminating the possibility that the events of April 10 were caused by a chronic condition.
"I understand that an investigation cannot change a loss into a win," Klitschko said. "I also understand that my path to redemption requires victories in the ring. So my call for an investigation should not be viewed as a strategy to change the past; it is to make the future better for the sport."
05-05-04 20:18 ET
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