Joey Gilbert Takes Lie Detector Test to Clear His Name

RENO, NEVADA., December 19, 2007. Following a positive test result for anabolic steroids and methamphetamine after his September 12, 2007, fight in Reno, Nevada, Joey Gilbert was shocked by the allegations of steroids and methamphetamine use leveled against him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "I immediately thought that the tests had to be wrong, or that banned substances must have been in one of my supplements." Said Gilbert. "Because, I certainly didn't knowingly take any banned substances.."

Gilbert immediately began looking for answers. Of his own accord, Gilbert chose to submit to further drug testing to clear his name. A hair sample test and subsequent retesting of his urine sample (taken the night of the fight) by an International Olympic Committee sanctioned drug testing laboratory at the University of Utah, ultimately confirmed that Gilbert did not have any methamphetamine in his system. As a result, the Nevada Athletic Commission dropped the alleged violation of methamphetamine.

"A failed drug test is devastating to a professional athletes' career and reputation, and so I've worked tirelessly to find out what happened. We've been able to show that some of the test results were incorrect and the labs are doing more retesting. But, I also take dozens of different supplements and vitamins, and I just kept coming back to the question of whether some of them may have contained steroids." Said Gilbert. "We did some research, and it turns out this is a big problem."

A study released this month (Dec. 2007), and reported on by USA TODAY, reported that 13 of the 52 supplements (25%) purchased at various U.S. retailers contained different amounts of steroids. Additionally, six (11.5% ) of the supplements contained banned stimulants. Likewise, the New York Times reported in 2002 that a study commissioned by the International Olympic Committee revealed that a quarter of the 600 over-the-counter nutritional supplements that were analyzed contained banned substances that could lead to a positive drug test.

"Nearly every athlete who tests positive for banned substances makes a claim of contaminated or laced supplements—so there's understandably a huge amount of skepticism among the general public and the various athletic commissions. Nonetheless, the studies show that the possibility of an athlete, or anyone for that matter, unknowingly ingesting steroids or banned stimulants through adulterated products purchased at a local vitamin store is real." Said Gilbert's attorney Mark Schopper. "So we are definitely looking into the possibility of an adulterated supplement in case the steroid retest should come back positive."

Following the positive test for banned substances, Gilbert wasn't certain what to do. Many boxing insiders told him that he had no choice but to admit guilt and take his punishment. Gilbert refused to admit something he didn't do, and he still wanted to find a way to clear his name with the public. The problem, however, was finding a way to show that he never knowingly took any banned substances. That opportunity presented itself through a challenge by a Nevada Athletic Commission Inspector.

"A Commission Inspector told Joe shortly after the positive test that if he didn't take the steroids and methamphetamine he should take a polygraph test to prove it—so he did." Said Schopper. The test was administered on October 18th and 19th, 2007.

The polygraph test was administered by Mr. Richard Putnam, a licensed polygraphic examiner in the State of Nevada. Putnam, a highly respected polygraphists in the State, was a full-time law enforcement polygraphic examiner in Washoe County for 16 years, and has practiced privately for the past 17 years. Putnam has conducted in excess of 4,400 polygraphic examinations.

Based on Putnam's analysis of the charts obtained during Gilbert's testing, Putnam wrote in his report that it is his professional opinion that Joey Gilbert was "truthful" in answering the relevant questions in the negative, which included questions as to whether Gilbert had knowingly ingested steroids or methamphetamine. The charts were also evaluated using POLYSCORE, a computer polygraphic chart evaluation program developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and also the Quantitative Evaluation System (QuESt) of the Layfayette Instrument Company—both of which produced consistent results with Putnam's opinion. Finally, Gilbert's charts were subjected to peer review by a polygraphic examiner for the Washoe County Public Defender's Office. The results of the review were also consistent with the opinion of Mr. Putnam.

"Hundreds of athletes have tested positive for banned substances and have blamed nutritional supplements or flawed tests. The difference is that Joe took a polygraph test to back up his statements." Said Schopper. "You don't see Barry Bonds, Floyd Landis, Marion Jones, or any of the multitude of other athletes who have been accused of taking banned substances taking polygraph tests. Joey's test speaks volumes about the sincerity of his denial of ever knowingly taking these substances."

"I took the polygraph test because I wanted to do everything I could to show the Athletic Commission I am telling the truth regarding the banned substances, and I also took it for my family, friends, and everyone in this community who has ever supported me. I don't know exactly what happened yet with the steroid test, but I do know that I have never knowingly taken steroids or methamphetamine. Fortunately, the methamphetamine allegation has been proven false. We are still waiting on the results of the steroid retest by the IOC lab. Whatever the outcome of that test, I'll take accountability for whatever was in my system. I just want everyone to know I'm being truthful." Said Gilbert.

Article posted on 19.12.2007

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