Boxer Suspended 9 Months, Fined for Positive Meth Test

Associated Press
Monday, March 5, 2007; 3:37 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Boxer Omar Nino-Romero was suspended for nine months and fined $18,750 Monday for testing positive for methamphetamine after a November bout.

The decision by regulators means the 30-year-old Mexican won't be able to fight in the United States during his suspension.

Nino-Romero's fine of 25 percent of his $75,000 purse came after his Nov. 18 majority draw with Brian Viloria in Las Vegas that initially allowed him to retain the WBC light flyweight title. The Nevada Athletic Commission also voided the majority draw and called the bout a no-decision.

Nino-Romero denied using the banned drug, which was detected by urinalysis. Methamphetamine can help fighters lose weight and acts as a stimulant in the ring. He is the first boxer in Nevada history to test positive for methamphetamine after a fight.

"I'm very, very sad at the decision, at what I went through," he said in Spanish through his co-trainer after the hearing.

The boxer's camp presented a clean hair sample test from a UCLA lab taken Jan. 31, but the commission ruled the hair was too short to be of use and would not have covered the time of the bout.

"I completely disregard and don't give any weight to the Jan. 31 negative result," commission member John Bailey said.

Last month, the WBC stripped Nino-Romero of the title, but said he would be the challenger for whoever is the new champion. Viloria of Hawaii, ranked first in the 108-pound class, will fight second-ranked Edgar Sosa of Mexico for the title. Nino-Romero (24-2-2) first won the title with a unanimous decision over Viloria in August in Las Vegas.

© 2007 The Associated Press