Whitaker passed Nevada drug test | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whitaker passed Nevada drug test

Steve Yingling

The Nevada Athletic Commission confirmed Tuesday afternoon that boxer Pernell Whitaker passed his mandatory drug test following his junior middleweight bout Friday at Caesars Tahoe.

Whitaker, who has failed two tests in other states during his 15-year career, was hospitalized on Sunday in Virginia Beach General Hospital for what he described as a mixture of alcohol and medication.

The father of four boys has since been released from the hospital.

The six-time champion’s girlfriend frantically called 911 on Sunday reporting that the 37-year-old Whitaker was having a seizure. According to the 911 call obtained by WAVY-TV in Virginia Beach, his girlfriend told the dispatcher that Whitaker was shaking on the bathroom floor as the result of “possibly using cocaine.” Whitaker is separated from his wife, Rovonda.

Ratner said the drug test was given to Whitaker on Friday night at Barton Memorial Hospital. Whitaker was rushed to Barton after fracturing his left shoulder during a four-round technical knockout loss to Carlos Bojorquez.

“We can say without any doubt that he was clean. No drugs were in his system,” said NAC Executive Director Marc Ratner said.

The NAC holds 10 percent of a fighter’s purse until after a postfight test is passed. Whitaker received his $25,000 purse Friday.

Because of two previous positive drug tests and his age, the NAC required Whitaker to undergo extensive testing before his bout with Bojorquez.

“He had to pass all kinds of tests: blood tests, urine tests and all kinds of medicals,” said Duva Boxing Promoter Dino Duva. “We’re happy they he had to it because, in our opinion, it made the whole public feel comfortable that Pernell was OK.”

Duva contends that Whitaker hasn’t tested positive twice.

“Look, it happened one time,” Duva said. “Pernell has admitted he’s no angel. He’s made mistakes in his life. But I feel comfortable with Pernell and how he’s been living. Whatever mistakes he’s made in the past, I feel confident they’re behind him.”

Whitaker announced his retirement from boxing at Barton on Friday. Ratner said his office hasn’t received a medical report on Whitaker’s injury but doesn’t expect “Sweet Pea” to continue his career.

“His shoulder injury was significant enough to make it a long time before he could fight again,” Ratner said. “I don’t think he’s going to fight again, but if he does, we’ll take it up then.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.