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Previous sample from Morton will be tested

Former football player refused to supply urine sample after losing mixed martial arts fight.

June 04, 2007|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

Although he was denied a urine sample for drug testing by former football player Johnnie Morton following Morton's mixed martial arts debut Saturday night at the Coliseum, Armando Garcia, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, plans to run tests on Morton using a sample supplied on Friday.

That sample was for steroid testing.

"We will be using that [sample] now to also test for drugs of abuse," said Garcia.

Results are expected in about a week.

Morton, a star receiver with USC before going on to play for the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers in a 12-year pro career, fought in Saturday night's Dynamite USA show and suffered a knockout by Bernard Ackah 38 seconds into the match.

Struck on the left temple by an Ackah right hand, Morton was sent to the canvas with such force that his head bounced off the surface. He was placed on a stretcher in the ring and taken by ambulance to California Hospital, accompanied by a commission inspector.

When an examination revealed Morton had not been seriously hurt, he was asked to submit to the drug test by the inspector.

"We don't want to make a bad situation worse," Garcia said, "and we don't want to interfere with the health and safety of the fighter."

Once Morton's health and safety were assured, Garcia said, he was obligated, as are all fighters, to provide a urine sample.

"He flat-out refused," said Garcia.

The 35-year-old Morton, who has been suspended by the commission and denied his purse, has not commented on the situation. A call to his agent, Joey Sakoda, was not returned.

steve.springer@latimes.com

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