The Arkansas Athletic Commission now requires participants in state-sanctioned boxing matches and combat sports in Arkansas to undergo blood tests for HIV and three types of hepatitis, reports KATV of Little Rock.
Arkansas was the only state in the country that did not already have such regulations.
Mandatory testing took effect in December.
The new regulations come after the Arkansas commission allowed an HIV-positive boxer to fight in a scheduled match in November. As ESPN reported at the time, the commission had been warned about the boxer’s HIV status by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports.
The Arkansas commission, KATV reports, said the boxer had provided medical records stating he did not have any of the viruses. An attorney for the commission said the organization is looking into the matter, specifically whether the public documents may have been tampered with.
From the POZ archives: Remember boxing champ Tommy Morrison, who co-starred in Rocky V and defeated George Foreman in 1993? He tested HIV positive in 1996, then stated HIV didn’t cause AIDS. Morrison died in 2013 at age 44. To read our 1997 cover story with him (pictured below), click here.