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Page last updated at 22:20 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 23:20 UK

Amir Khan dismisses Paulie Malignaggi doping suspicions

Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi
Khan makes his American debut on Saturday

Amir Khan v Paulie Malignaggi
Venue: Madison Square Garden, NY Starts: Approx. 0300 BST Sunday 16 May Coverage: Live on ITV1 from 0245 BST, commentary on BBC Radio 5 live (plus preview on 5 live, 2100-2200 BST Thursday 14 May)

Amir Khan has said he has no qualms in undergoing drugs tests ahead of his WBA light-welterweight title defence against Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday.

Malignaggi recently voiced his concerns about doping in boxing after Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather's fight was cancelled after a drug testing row.

However, Khan says he is willing to be tested at any stage ahead of the fight.

"I'm not scared of needles, if you want me to take a drug test, I'm happy to do that for you," said Khan.

Malignaggi had previously voiced his suspicions about Pacquaio's reasons for refusing Floyd Mayweather's demands for random blood and urine tests in the run up to their fight on 13 March.

That fight was later cancelled with the two camps failing to come to an agreement with the wider issue of doping in boxing coming to the fore as a result.

Professional boxing is one the few sports that is not regulated by a single governing body such as the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) who recently branded the sport's testing as "pathetic".

Mayweather's management wanted both men - regarded as the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world - to submit to blood-testing 14 days prior to the bout.

Pacquiao, however, refused, saying that he had difficulty with taking blood, and after days of negotiating the pair failed to resolve their dispute.

Malignaggi waded into the row questioning why Pacquaio would not take the test as well as his ability to move up and down in weight.

And Malignaggi later admitted that the thought that Pacquiao's stable-mate Khan could be using performance enhancing drugs had crossed his mind.

"I made my comments and I stand by my comments," said Malignaggi.

"I never said Amir was a cheater - it never came out of my mouth," he said.

"Somebody asked me a question, did it cross your mind, have you thought about it, being as he has the same team around him. I said I'd be lying if it never crossed my mind. But he hasn't given me any right to think that."

And Khan insists that he and Pacquaio are clean and is more than willing to take any test to prove his innocence.

Khan also defended trainer Roach and conditioning coach Alex Ariza in the row.

"I think it's more jealousy than anything," said Khan.

"They're just disrespecting all the trainers, Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, because of the work they put into the training, they've got a great work ethic."

Khan admits Malignaggi has riled him up and is looking forward to having the chance to silence the New Yorker in front of his home fans on Saturday.

"It's motivated me to go out there and do a good job on him so he shuts his mouth up.

"When we do go out and fight we'll both be drug-tested before and after and the truth will come out there."

The comments have also upset Roach who says Malignaggi would be paid back in the ring while also defending his two stars.

"I know some people have made some comments about them using steroids," said Roach.

"Why can't they just accept that these two guys work hard and they are great fighters? You'll see that on the 15th and Paulie, you will definitely see it."

see also
Dominant Khan defeats Malignaggi
16 May 10 |  Boxing
Khan cleared to fight Malignaggi
08 May 10 |  Boxing
Malignaggi issues warning to Khan
16 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Boxing's dirty secret
28 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Mayweather-Pacquiao bout 'is off'
23 Dec 09 |  Boxing

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