Alan Hubbard

Amir Khan is currently in the jungle. No, not to rumble like Ali and Foreman back in the 1970s but as a contestant in the hit TV reality show "I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!"

The former Olympic silver medallist and two times world professional light-welterweight champion is among a dozen other reasonably well-known faces from sport and politics in a sparse encampment in the South African Bush.

They are required to undertake such showbiz menial tasks as cleaning the primitive communal toilet and sweeping the cockroaches from their living quarters.

They also have to suffer the indignity of crawling through a rat infested tunnel and dipping their hand into a pit of writhing snakes.

Then they are invited to dine on such delicacies as boiled fish eyes, snake soup, ostrich testicles, bullock’s penis, pig’s anus and would you believe, a cow’s vagina! All nicely served up with two veg. If they can keep it down they are then allowed proper food, such as beans and rice!

Of course they are rewarded with a hefty sum and whoever lasts the fortnight without vomiting or being voted off by the viewers is crowned King or Queen of the Jungle and this year labelled a "legend."

A popular previous winner was top football manager Harry Redknapp when the programme was held in Australia. This time Khan is joined by another ex-king, former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and the champion javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread.

However those of us who have followed Khan’s rollercoaster 16-year, 40 fight career since he was simply boxing’s boy from Bolton will be saddened to see him in such a humiliating situation.

More so in view of the failed drugs test which followed his final belt against a fellow 35-year-old Kell Brook in February of last year.

Strangely, it has only recently been revealed that Khan tested positive for the banned substance ostarine, which is said to have a similar effect to muscle-building testosterone.

Olympic boxing silver medallist Amir Khan is currently a contestant in reality TV show I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here ©Getty Images
Olympic boxing silver medallist Amir Khan is currently a contestant in reality TV show I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here ©Getty Images

He claims do you have no idea how this came about, and an inquiry panel agreed that it was not deliberate. Nonetheless he was banned for two years by The British Boxing Board of Control as the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations require all athletes to be responsible for what is in their system.

The ban is irrelevant as he has already announced his retirement from the ring following the sixth-round stoppage against Brook. This was the sixth time Khan had been stopped or KO’d in an otherwise illustrious career.

Khan had told the inquiry he believed the positive test may be the result of a "handshake."

He said: "I meet a lot of people and I am always shaking hands."

Unbelievable as this may seem it is by no means the most bizarre excuse offered for a failed test. Khan’s fellow fighter, Conor Benn, son of former world champion Nigel has finally been suspended by UK Anti-Doping after twice testing positive for the female fertility drug clomifene which is also said to contain testosterone.

This happened before his scheduled but now postponed catchweight contest with Chris Eubank.

Benn angrily disputes the finding, and threatens legal action, citing "eating too many eggs" as a possible reason for the misdemeanour.

Another boxer who claims his appetite was the cause of a positive test found in his system is the current World Boxing Council world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

He failed a test during his "wilderness" years when he was suffering from mental illness and claimed the positive finding was the result of eating uncastrated wild boar.

Then we have the British bob-sledder Lenny Paul who blamed spaghetti sauce for his positive test.

American 400 metres runner LaShawn Merritt claimed a positive test was because he took a penis enlargement product ©Getty Images
American 400 metres runner LaShawn Merritt claimed a positive test was because he took a penis enlargement product ©Getty Images

Other hilarious excuses include that of the American 400 metres runner LaShawn Merritt who said the reason he tested positive was because he took a penis enlargement product.

A Canadian cyclist claimed a small dose of strychnine in his sample came about because he ate a pigeon pie made from his father’s pet racing birds who had been doped with the substance, found in rat poison, which apparently revives tired legs.

A Russian runner blamed "female physiology" and a Spanish road walker sex with his pregnant wife for their positive findings, the latter being nandrolone, which is often found in pregnant women.

A French female runner came up with the seemingly incredible excuse that during heavy rainfall in a half-marathon unidentified medical waste was washed on to the road and was splashed all over her.

According to the coach of Olympic sprint champion Justin Gatlin the athlete tested positive after "a masseur with a grudge" rubbed testosterone into his legs.

Many athletes, including the notorious Johnson, who was found to have ingested nandrolone, before his world record shattering 100 metres at the Seoul 1988 Olympics, have alleged that their drinks were spiked by jealous rivals.

The excuse I like best is that offered by another top level American sprinter, Denis Mitchell, who in 1992 announced that his positive test was a result of "drinking five bottles of beer and having sex with my wife at least four times," adding "it was her birthday and the lady deserved a treat."

Funny? Certainly, yet you yearn for just one culprit to hold his or her hand up and declare: "Yes, I’m guilty. You’ve got me bang to rights." Somehow I doubt that will ever happen.

But back to Amir. I am shocked that his career should end in such an ignominious manner. Let’s hope he really is innocent.

British boxer Conor Benn has been suspended by UK Anti-Doping for twice testing positive for female fertility drug clomifene ©Getty Images
British boxer Conor Benn has been suspended by UK Anti-Doping for twice testing positive for female fertility drug clomifene ©Getty Images

I first saw him win a schoolboy championship as a 15-year-old in Barnsley, and two years later the Olympic silver in Athens where he was Team GB’s sole ring representative. He was memorably cheered on by his father adorned in a Union Jack waistcoat.

I have always found him to be friendly, polite and helpful. However alongside his often heroic exploits in the ring, he has endured a somewhat turbulent life outside it. He is said to have earned around £5 million ($6.2 million/€5.6 million) for the fight for his valedictory bout with Brook and has never been shy of flashing the cash somewhat ostentatiously.

I was among 4,000 guests invited to his £1 million ($1.2 million/€1.1 million) wedding reception. He is reckoned to be worth about £40 million ($50 million/€45 million) altogether.

Earlier this year he and his wife, American heiress Faryal Makhtoum were held at gunpoint and Amir was robbed of a watch worth £70,000 ($87,000/€79,000).

He once split temporarily from his wife, alleging she was having an affair with Olympic and former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, which he later retracted.

His own sexual peccadilloes have made lurid front-page headlines and this may be the area why he has never received a much deserved honour. Odd that, when the likes of hell-raiser rock star Mick Jagger and cricket legend Ian ("we broke the bed") Botham have been made a Knight and a Lord respectively.

Surely Khan is worth at least a modest Member of the British Empire, a gong awarded to most British world boxing champions.

The son of Pakistan-born parents, Khan is among the most prodigious supporters of charity both here and in Pakistan where he was among the first to literally get his hands dirty helping to rebuild after severe flooding.

Although he has a luxury holiday home in Dubai, he, his wife and three children still reside in Bolton where last year they were the subject of a TV documentary series called "Life with the Khans."

That life has been somewhat turbulent for Amir, so chomping on a bull’s penis should be a doddle.