Boxer suspended 9 months for positive test

Updated: March 5, 2007, 4:02 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- The first boxer in Nevada history to test positive for methamphetamine after a fight was suspended for nine months and fined $18,750 by regulators Monday.

The ruling means Omar Nino Romero won't be able to fight in the United States during the term of the suspension.

Nino-Romero's fine of 25 percent of his $75,000 purse came after his Nov. 18 majority draw with Brian Viloria that initially allowed Nino-Romero 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, a 30-year-old Mexican, denied he had used the banned drug, which was detected by urinalysis after his bout. Methamphetamine can help fighters lose weight and acts as a stimulant in the ring.

After the hearing Nino Romero expressed disappointment.

"I'm very, very sad at the decision, at what I went through," the boxer from Guadalajara said in Spanish through his co-trainer.

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, currently 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 of Waipahu, Hawaii, in August in Las Vegas.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press