Andre Berto says he did not knowingly use steroids, and will investigate the cause of his failed drug test. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Andre Berto, who failed a VADA test when it came up positive for the steroid nandrolone (generally known as Deca-Durabolin) and has lost his June 23 rematch with Victor Ortiz, has officially denied using the steroid and is currently having his lawyers deal with the case.
"At the present time, I cannot explain the positive drug test, which was provided as part of a voluntary anti-doping program in which I agreed to participate. I know that I have never used any steroids or other banned substances, and I am investigating all possible causes of the positive test with my attorney Howard Jacobs. I have never cheated, and all of my success has come from hard work and dedication."
As for those who think Berto's past association with Victor Conte may play a role here, I really believe that Conte is telling the honest truth when he says this has nothing to do with him.
For starters, let's assume that Conte is still shady. I don't know that to be the case, but just for the sake of argument, let's go with that. If he were still in the business of helping athletes cheat, believe me, he wouldn't be giving guys nandrolone. We're talking about a fairly outdated steroid here -- not because it wouldn't still work, but it's not cutting edge at all, and Conte always dealt in the cutting edge of performance enhancing drugs. I really cannot believe the idea that Conte would be giving an athlete drugs that were popping tests in the 1990s.
Both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were reportedly users of nandrolone, with Bonds said to have used the drug back in 1999 and Clemens in 2000. Tennis player Petr Korda was busted for usage in 1998 at Wimbledon. It has been a drug of choice in recent years, too, but it still would seem exceedingly unlikely that Conte would go this route, at least to me. It's almost primitive.