WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka, the first Japanese male world champion in four different weight divisions, will not be punished for doping, the Japanese Boxing Commission said Wednesday, announcing it was unable to confirm a violation had occurred.
"I've been longing for this day. I have nothing to feel guilty about when it comes to boxing," Ioka told a press conference.
The JBC's chairman of the board, Yuhei Nagata, admitted his body had failed on multiple levels after a third-party panel found the JBC's sample management inadequate.
"I can't deny the handling of the samples was sloppy, and it's a fact that Ioka's reputation was tarnished by his name being leaked to the media," Nagata said. "I want to meet him in person and apologize."
Yet, Ioka said he was in no mood to absolve the organization.
"I cannot forgive them just like that. To be honest I'm not sure if I can keep fighting with peace of mind," Ioka said. "This thing blew up and for a month and a half changed my life completely. I thought that this would be the end of my career."
A third-party panel's ethics committee report said the "A" sample of Ioka's urine tested positive for cannabis in January, but the "B" sample, tested at a later date, did not, and that the original result was likely a false positive.
The report said stimulants including ephedrine were detected in the "B" sample but said the sample had not continuously been refrigerated, making it impossible to determine the sample had not gone bad.
The ethics committee concluded it is "difficult to certify the existence of a prohibited substance," adding that the JBC neglected to follow proper procedures in storing the samples.
The fight in question, on New Year's Eve, involved Ioka winning his second title defense, beating Japanese compatriot and previously unbeaten top-ranked challenger Kosei Tanaka in an eighth-round technical knockout.
Ioka was disciplined by the JBC in January after tattoos on his left arm became visible during the match.