Last night, Andre Berto went back to Twitter and tried to soften his stance, so to speak, on his earlier allegations that Victor Ortiz used performance-enhancing drugs in his April 16 defeat of Berto:
Wow why does everyones mind go straight to PEDs. Calm down everyone I was just talkin about Ortiz eating his spinach like popeye lol
It's a little tough to buy that Berto was being a comedian if you've ever read his Twitter, because frankly he's just not very funny, and, you know, everyone saw everything he had said earlier. Of course he didn't make any direct allegations, but this is nothing new to the modern boxing climate. As Berto's trainer Tony Morgan said, "take the test" is the new hot deal:
"There's so many accusations from so many people that it's sad. All it does is hurt the sport. Come on, we're men here. They both go in, they both work their butts off. I look at it for what it is; he came in and he put on a hell of a performance. Can I take that away from him? No. Until I can prove something different, than maybe I might think of something different. Nobody's proved anything on anybody. Everybody talks. 'Take the test' is the new thing, but it's sad but there is probably people cheating."
... "I know the fact of it all. Berto's head, for some reason, just wasn't there that night. Everybody knows Berto is a lot better fighter than that. It was Victor's night and it wasn't Berto's night. It happens. Welcome to the sport of boxing is what I tell everybody. That's what makes the sport so great is the upset. If anybody knows Victor and what he came from, you gotta take your hat off to him," said Morgan.
Morgan also says that of course there are people cheating in boxing, and of course, yes, there are. Someone out there is cheating -- someone significant. I have no idea who is or isn't, as I've said before, but I have absolutely zero doubt that one of your favorite fighters and one of my favorite fighters isn't on the level. It's a reality of the sports world in 2011, and is especially likely in a sport where testing is such a rotten joke.
I have my doubts that anyone will buy Berto's "explanation," but he offered it anyway. The worst part is I cynically (even more than I've said already) read it as, "Wow, ha ha, can you believe everyone thought of steroids and stuff? I wasn't saying that (but hey, everyone else said it, so it makes ya think, doesn't it?)" I'm not saying that's what he meant, but the whole thing still reeks of desperate, baseless accusation.