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California Athletic Commission may get two-year reprieve

April 09, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, right, is knocked down in the first round by contender Ruslan Provodnikov during their match at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, right, is knocked down in the… (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)

SACRAMENTO -- Just months ago, the California Athletic Commission appeared down for the count, on the verge of insolvency, but a key lawmaker now says he's willing to give the commission and its new managers another chance.

State Sen. Curren Price Jr. (D-Los Angeles) said he will introduce legislation that will extend the sunset date for the commission by two years. He said he has support from a majority of the members of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, which he chairs.

The panel held a hearing Monday on changes being made by new executive officer Andy Foster and a commission with two new members appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"We've got some new blood coming in, so I am fully prepared to give the commission another couple of years to work it out and make sure they are on the right track," Price said after the hearing.

The agency, which regulates boxing and mixed martial arts in the state, ended the last fiscal year with just $23,000 in the bank, enough for two days of operations.

State Auditor Elaine Howle said the agency had mismanaged its finances and was not doing enough to protect boxers. She said the state should consider transferring the Athletic Commission’s day-to-day operations to the state Department of Consumer Affairs.

Price said he was outraged that the agency has been paying little pension money to boxers, and that it was spending too much on administration.

But he said he felt better Monday when Foster said that the pension fund has begun making more payments, administrative costs are down, and the agency is operating under an austerity plan aimed at restoring solvency.

Price said his measure will "tweak"’ the law to improve operations and make sure money for neurological testing and pensions is properly spent.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com


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