As an update to the Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto rematch drug testing talk, Berto's trainer Tony Morgan tells Chris Robinson of Examiner.com that he definitely wants the drug testing, and believes it will be part of the fight:
"We will be testing. From what I’m told and as far as I’m concerned, we definitely will be testing. ... I just think that will all the crap that is going on, I don’t want to point fingers, I don’t want to say names [but] I know it’s out there. Can I say anybody’s doing it? No. But I’m not going to throw my kid in there and take a chance unless I know. I’m not saying that anybody’s on it, I just don’t trust anybody anymore."
[ Related: Golden Boy, Ortiz Willing to Do Extra Testing ]
While I was reading Morgan's comments, which are perfectly, 100%, totally fair in my opinion, I was wondering where the desire to "know" was on September 3, when Andre Berto fought Jan Zaveck in Mississippi.
But Morgan does sort of address that, and credits Victor Conte, who started working with Berto just before that fight, with opening his eyes to a lot of what can be done:
"Because these tests, the tests that they do in the commissions, you can get away with anything. And I never knew that because we always played by the rules. But when you talk to these other people, oh my God, there’s so much stuff you can get away with."
And he's right. Maybe he didn't know all of this, perhaps it never concerned him, but for years those of us who cared at all have criticized the state commission testing. It's laughable. It's a joke. If you have the first clue what you're doing, you will beat those tests and you can cheat as much as you want and get every advantage there is to get. That's a fact.
If you don't want to take my word for it, ask former Nevada commission doctor Margaret Goodman. This is from an interview in January 2010:
FH: So there are lots of drugs that a fighter can take prior to competing that would be out of his systemp prior to the match?
Goodman: There are many anabolic steroids that will do the same thing, it's just a question of when you stop them. How would somebody know all of this? The average person can go on the internet and type in 'half-life, anabolic steroids,' and they can get plenty of information as to how long these things stay in your system.
And there are individuals out there who will design a program. They'll ask, 'When is your competition,' and they'll design a program to make sure that they'll get the benefits from the drugs, but the drugs won't be in their system when they're drug-tested.
Obviously, the BALCO situation brought everything to a head. But there are many, many, many individuals out there who are physicians, who are chemists, who are working with athletes and designing special programs of what they need to take and when, when they need to stop it. And it's a very expensive process.
I hope there is more extensive drug testing for this fight. Ortiz and Richard Schaefer have no problem with it, they say, and Ortiz just did it in September to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr, and said repeatedly during the lead-up to the fight that it didn't bother him. I think it should be part of every major fight and eventually just part of the sport, period. It's something that needs to happen. Don't kid yourself: There are name fighters out there cheating, all the time. I don't know who they are and wouldn't even know who to suspect. But they are out there. If you believe they aren't, you're in a fantasy.
Ortiz and Berto will meet again on January 28 or February 11, live on Showtime.