The issue of steroids and performance enhancing drugs first came into the purview of the average fight fan almost a decade ago. Manny Pacquiao starting jumping up in weight and walking through Miguel Cotto’s biggest shots and rolling over him. He then refused to Olympic style drug testing and refused to make the biggest and richest fight of his life against Floyd Mayweather. It raised more than a little suspicion but Pac-mania rolled on pretty much uninterrupted. It did, however, bring some attention to the issue which was previously ignored. If there’s any sport that cannot have steroid cheats its boxing. This isn’t hitting home runs, it’s not adding a few MPH to fastballs or letting closers get back out there for the third day in a row. It’s not letting sprinters shave off a couple hundreds of a second or add a few inches to their long jump. Its knocking people out, and if we are in a fight and you’re cheating, you have forced your opponent to do the same, just to protect themselves and make the fight fair. Boxing has come along way from Alex Ariza and his “special shakes” Margaret Goodman, VADA and other clean testing programs have been implemented and they are certainly a net positive.
However, all the testing programs and anti-doping whatever in the world is completely useless if it’s not enforced and that’s what the boxing world is experiencing. The WBC just released news that it attempted to administer 28 drug tests only 22 of them were completed. Only one test came back positive, that was cruiserweight Kevin Lerena who came up dirty. However, six of the athletes missed testing altogether. Since we are in the business of naming names, here ya go:
Of the six four of them, the Charlo Twins, Barnes and Velasco have a fight scheduled. Barnes doesn’t have an opponent named yet, but all four have a fight scheduled to take place in the next month. So the WBC and their “Clean Testing Program” is ok with four fighters walking into the ring juiced up with an unfair advantage. The WBC communicated a clear message if you are dirty, just don’t take the test. If you just don’t take the test you can move forward as if nothing has ever happened. It’s not just these fighters and the WBC. It’s a reoccurring theme throughout the sport. Billy Joe Saunders failed a test and the WBO AKA the W BOgus was going to allow it to go on, but the Massachusettes state athletic commision stepped in and refused Saunders a license. Erislandy Lara asked to be taken off the WBC ratings and opted out of the clean testing program. If you weren’t cheating why would you ask to be removed from the ratings and pull out of the clean testing program? PED specialist Victor Conte reported that Errol Spence turned down VADA testing for his fight with Mikey Garcia. Well if you are turning down testing, whats the only thing that can mean? It means you are dirty. If you were clean, the test would only ensure your opponent was clean. Think about it. Canelo Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol got a six-month suspension, then got the fight after the six-month vacation and then according to Tom Loeffler’s claims Voluntary Anti-Doping Association took the unprecedented move to cancel a scheduled drug test after Canelo Alvarez’s rematch with Gennady Golovkin
Law without enforcement is not law at all. If not taking a test is an option why wouldn’t you cheat and then just refuse the test? There’s no punishment for refusing the test. There’s a reason that if you refuse a breathalyzer you are assumed guilty. If you were allowed to refuse the test no one would take them, ESPECIALLY THE DRUNK PEOPLE. Because they could drink and drive without consequence. To my friends with questionable pasts, tell you PO you don’t want to take the urine test and see where you end up. You will certainly be treated as if you failed that tests because that’s the only logical conclusion. Its high time that boxing got on board with logic and the rest of the reasonable world and treat those who skip tests, refuse tests or opt out of testing programs as guilty. Allowing people in the hurt business to enter the ring with an unfair advantage is a recipe for disaster.