Ravens' Zbikowski appealing suspension over failed drug test

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Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is appealing a 45-day suspension for failing a drug test after Saturday's victory in Thackerville, Okla.

Seeking an "expedited" decision, Zbikowski sent a negative result from "a more in-depth test" to the Chickasaw Nation Boxing Commission on Tuesday, his attorney said.

Zbikowski, who turned to boxing during the NFL lockout, was one of five fighters who tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main substance in marijuana.

"Tom was in shock," said Mike Joyce, Zbikowski's lawyer. "He doesn't do drugs. He's passed every collegiate and NFL test, and I think sometimes there are false positives."

If the suspension is upheld, Zbikowski likely would miss his next two scheduled fights and would be subject to discipline under the NFL's personal conduct policy. "We do not know the facts, but it will be reviewed when the teams return," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The results of Zbikowski's clean test have been faxed to Oklahoma, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The commission in Oklahoma has told us he'd be off suspension if we send them a clean sample within five days," boxing promoter Bob Arum told the Times.

Zbikowski's lawyer and father both cast doubts about the testing at the WinStar Casino.

Zbikowski participated in a urine test strip after the fight, according to Joyce. "I've never seen results where you get them the day of the fight," Joyce said. "It was like a home pregnancy test or something."

Having five boxers test positive also raises questions about the validity of the testing, Zbikowski's father said. "I bet if you did a study on what was the most suspensions on any card, this would rank up there with one of the highest," said Ed Zbikowski, who has been involved in boxing for 57 years. "It seems odd that five guys who are athletes tested positive for marijuana."

Zbikowski didn't return messages from The Sun.

Arum said Zbikowski denies smoking marijuana, and the long-time promoter speculated it entered Zbikowski's system as a result of "someone at the hotel smoking close to the guys, like a contact high."

The NFL lockout allowed Zbikowski return to boxing, which he has repeatedly called his first love. He also has yet to sign his tender as a restricted free agent, so he is technically not under contract.

Zbikowski improved to 4-0 as a professional boxer with a first-round knockout of Blake Warner on Saturday night. He is scheduled to fight May 21 in Cabazon, Calif., and June 4 in Los Angeles.

California State Athletic Commission spokeswoman Sarah Waklee said the commission will know by mid-May if Zbikowski's suspension has been lifted. Waklee said even if Zbikowski has been cleared, he'll still be subject to a test for marijuana given the positive result for THC.

The Ravens are aware of the incident from media reports, but teams have been reluctant to contact players until there is a decision on the NFL's motion for a stay to the lockout.

"At this time, unfortunately, we can't reach out to Tom for his side of the story," a Ravens official said.

Despite the failed drug test, Zbikowski was allowed to keep his $20,000 purse, according to his father.

"It's very unfortunate to have his good name associated with something like this," Joyce said. "But we're getting it cleared up as fast as we can."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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