Nandrolone Positive Steroid Test Leads to Cancellation of Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz Rematch

  • Tweet

Boxer Andre “The Beast” Berto tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid nandrolone in an anti-doping test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). The former WBC welterweight champion was scheduled to meet Victor Ortiz in a rematch to regain the welterweight title on June 23, 2012 in Los Angeles.  However, Berto voluntarily agreed to random steroid testing by VADA before the fight. And VADA detected norandosterone in both the “A” and “B” urine samples.

The positive steroid test marks the second time this month that VADA has been a spoiler in a highly-anticipated rematch in the sport of boxing. Boxer Lamont Peterson was scheduled to fight in a rematch against Amir Khan with the WBA light welterweight title as the prize. However, Peterson requested random blood and urine testing administered by VADA. A carbon isotope ratio (CIR) test for exogenously-administered (synthetic) testosterone turned up positive in the weeks prior to the May 19, 2012 rematch.

VADA has made quite an impact with its anti-doping program this month. And has generated a lot of ill-will from those in the sport who are suffering financially from the steroid positives announced by VADA.

Golden Boy Promotions, founded by boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya, has taken a major financial hit after the unified junior welterweight championship between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan was cancelled. Richard Schaeffer, the chief executive officer for Golden Boy, has estimated the company lost $250,000 in potential profit from the cancellation of the May 20th bout.

The cancellation of the Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz bout may not be as costly since a replacement for Ortiz is likely. However, a replacement will not generate as much interest as Berto. The April 16, 2011 unanimous defeat of Berto by Ortiz was named Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year” in 2011.  Berto vacated his IBF welterweight title so that he could face Ortiz.

Berto has no explanation for his positive steroid test. He has hired famed sports attorney Howard Jacobs to represent him.

“I know that I have never used any steroids or other banned substances, and I am investigating all possible causes of the positive test with my attorney Howard Jacobs,” said Berto in a statement. “I have never cheated, and all of my success has come from hard work and dedication.”

Jacobs has successfully defended other professional athletes who have been victims of dietary supplement contamination. Due to the very long half-life and relatively easy detection of nandrolone, it is rarely used by athletes to dope. Nandrolone decanoate is the active ingredient in the anabolic steroid popularly known as Deca Durabolin or simply “Deca”. Over the past decade, several dietary supplements have been found to contain steroid metabolites such as nandrolone. Most of the time, the synthetic steroid ingredients were listed on the label. However, in some instances the ingredients were not disclosed and represented true cases of contamination.



Iole, K. (May 19, 2012). Berto test highlights disturbing trend. Retrieved from