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Boxers’ Records May Be Kept Secret

May 19, 1999

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ The Assembly gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill that ensures confidentiality of medical information provided by boxers to the Nevada Athletic Commission.

AB467, now going to Gov. Kenny Guinn for his signature, was sought by the commission after former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s medical records were posted on the Internet. The records had been turned over to the commission and were public documents under current law.

Panel members said they are concerned that boxers seeking Nevada licenses and aware of the Tyson case might withhold information, fearing similar publicity. Athletic commissioner Lorenzo Fertitta adds that Tyson may not have been completely honest during his psychological evaluation because of the commission’s open records policy.

Tyson underwent psychological testing last year before regulators would agree to hear his request for a license to restore the one revoked for biting Evander Holyfield’s ears.

Under the bill, the commission could deem what information is relevant to granting or denying a license and therefore public. The rest of the applicants’ records will remain confidential.

The commission also could offer a conditional license for boxers. Fertitta said this would result in more control over a licensee, such as requiring random drug tests.

That provision also stems from Tyson’s licensing. The commission had wanted to impose conditions but found Nevada law didn’t permit it.

The bill was opposed by Kent Lauer of the Nevada Press Association, who said members of the public who buy tickets or bet on fights have a right to know about a boxer’s mental or physical state.

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