Historically a sport linked to disorganization and total corruption, boxing has rarely been the best advocate from a public relations perspective.
Don’t look for a positive test against phentermine banned by WBC lightweight junior champion Oscar Valdez, who apparently won’t be defending his title against amateur opponent Robson Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs) in September. He earned a Top 10 ESPN Card Rank at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
According to a report by Mike Coppinger of ESPN on Thursday, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Athletic Commission has ruled that Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) will be allowed to continue the fight, despite testing on both the A- and B-samples, collected by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) in August. 13, coming dirty.
Pascua Yaqui curator Ernie Gallardo declined to explain his decision to ESPN. Meanwhile, WBC President Mauricio Suliaman has said that the sanctioning body has not prevented Valdez from defending his title, which he won in February through his spectacular 10th knockout round against Miguel Berchelt. Suliaman also said Valdez will not face any punishment.
The optics of the decision is as tremendous as for the integrity of the sport, as the overall situation is confusing.
Phentermine, a central nerve stimulant that increases resistance, is listed by the VADA as a banned substance, as both fighters registered. WBC also uses the agency as part of the Net Boxing Program. It costs less than similar agencies like VADA, USADA or the weakest state commissions, and has a reputation for being the deepest in the sport for using Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) tests.
The Pascua Yaqui commission, however, only complies with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and bans this substance if it is taken “during competition” if the fight starts at 23:59 the night before. Phentermine has a half-life, according to the ESPN report, of approximately 20 hours, which means it can be completely eliminated from the fighter’s system in four days.
Valdez, a 30-year-old Mexican native, said he “didn’t know” he took the banned substance. They tried again on August 30 and refused, even though the initial result failed and came to 17 days.
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VADA reports the results and does not judge them, which is the responsibility of the commission to decide Valdez’s fate. Valdez’s lawyer, Pat English, and promoter Bob Arum explained that the test failed, accusing Valdez of going from coffee to grass in the training camp.
Victor Conte, a former head of BALCO who was jailed in 2005, has shamelessly condemned the idea after saying he was guilty of distributing drugs to improve performance and laundering money among athletes. Conte, who runs his sports nutrition company, now widely used in boxing called SNAC, told ESPN that the response to herbal tea is similar to the excuse that “dogs do their homework.”
Regardless of the honesty of Valdez’s claim or the number of traces found in his system intentionally or unintentionally, continuing to defend his title on a large platform is a huge corner in the face of a little credibility that boxing about medication still retains. tests and the health and well-being of the participants.
The popularity of the sport in terms of PEDs has been very good to begin with, the work done by VADA, a medical ring founded in 2011 by Dr. Margaret Goodman and nominated for the 2021 International Boxing Hall of Fame. The reputation is worse Through research work by journalist Thomas Hauser and the 2018 USADA exhibition, Who has also been a UFC anti-doping partner since 2015.
Hauser reported that out of the 1,501 boxing trials held by USADA in the eight-year period beginning in 2010, only one positive test was given to a state sports commission. The aforementioned test, the positive result obtained by Erik Morales in 2012 in both the A- and B-samples of Clenbuterol, was only published because it was spread on the Internet by a website that no longer works. Even worse, Morales allowed him to fight in what would be the last wave of his career in the Age of Fame, a rematch in the fourth round in his rematch with junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia at the time.
Valdez’s condition is similar to Garcia’s, in that he is allowed to fight despite damn evidence. That’s after the latest precedent of the VADA rules was sanctioned when Billy Joe Saunders saw the 2018 fight with Demetrius Andrade canceled by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission. Saunders tested positive for oxylophrine, which was banned by VADA even though WADA ruled it out of competition.
Given the level of cynicism that many observers have about boxing, that drug testing is nothing more than window dressing or insurance policy from networks to promoters, Valdez’s story doesn’t do much to disprove that.
Whether the anti-boxing drug testing protocols were for lipstick or not, a rule was broken and a banned substance, decided by the testing body itself that the two fighters agreed to use, was clearly found. Ignoring the situation and continuing with the business as usual for the sake of the holy dollar is as hypocritical a move as one can imagine.
The only honest move in this case would be to acknowledge that everyone involved really cares little.