Boxer Tommy Morrison, who died of cardiac failure at age 44, was banned from boxing professionally by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after he tested positive for HIV in 1996. But according to legal documents obtained by Law Newz, Morrison first became aware of his diagnosis in 1989, and was somehow able to continue boxing while HIV positive for seven years.

The documents come from a lawsuit filed by Morrison’s widow, an HIV denier who is suing the lab that diagnosed her husband with HIV. In defending themselves, the lab and the NSAC uncovered a slew of documents indicating that Morrison knew he was HIV positive as far back as 1989.

The documents include a report from a counselor at Morrison’s rehab facility that states Morrison was first given his diagnosis in 1989, a 1999 letter from Morrison’s psychiatrist to Morrison’s attorney that says Morrison had HIV for 11 years at that point, numerous statements from Morrison’s ex-wife claiming that the boxer often talked about how he hid his diagnosis for seven years.

The big remaining question is how Morrison was able to keep the fact that he was HIV positive secret for seven years and continue boxing. Law Newz theorizes that Morrison found a doctor willing to label someone else’s blood as Morrison’s before sending it off to an accredited lab for testing.


Law Newz has all of the relevant documents from the lawsuit, and you can view them there.

Photo via AP

[Law Newz]