Tom Zbikowski’s camp was shocked when they were informed that the Ravens safety and professional boxer had tested positive for marijuana after his victory in a fight Saturday night.
So, they went and got a second, more in-depth test taken. And this time, according to Zbikowski’s boxing manager and attorney, the test came back clean.
“I guess the test they took wasn’t sent to the lab, it was just a strip test, which sometimes gives off false positives,” Mike Joyce told me in a phone interview. “We took a more comprehensive test at an independent lab in Chicago, which the commission said they’d accept as long as we send a verified copy of it, which we did today.”
Zbikowski wasn’t the only boxer to fail the drug test Saturday night in Thackersville, Oklahoma; four others also received positive tests.
Joyce now believes that Zbikowski’s 45-day suspension for the failed test should be lifted.
“We’re hoping the commission sends a letter to all the boxers who tested positive saying if they (pass) this more conclusive test, then they would have their suspensions lifted,” he said.
Joyce believes Zbikowski’s false positive came as a result of an unusual drug testing method, in which a strip is applied directly into the boxer’s urine, and gives an immediate reading, similar to a home pregnancy test.
It’s a method which is often considered inconclusive.
“It was a urine test, and I guess they gave him the results right then and there,” Joyce said. “They said you have (an illegal drug) in your system. I’ve never heard of drug tests coming back where they give you the results right on the spot. They usually get sent out to a lab.”
Given the passion Zbikowski has brought to his professional boxing career and the focus he’s put toward his training, Joyce says he finds it nearly impossible to believe that Zbikowski would participate in any illegal drug use.
“You think he would throw away his entire athletic career over a puff on a marijuana joint?” Joyce said. “He doesn’t even drink alcohol when he’s training. He doesn’t eat junk food. He gets his body fat tested and his oxygen level. His body is like a temple.”