Winky Wright doesn't understand what happened, as USADA took samples from he and Peter Quillin, then destroyed them without testing. (Photo by Jeff Young/Showtime)
Earlier this week, it was reported that although their fight was occurring on June 2, Peter Quillin and Winky Wright had both agreed to take USADA testing ahead of their Showtime-televised bout, the featured undercard fight on the Tarver vs Kayode show.
It seemed strange at the time, with such a small window before the fight to get the testing in, but Winky requested the testing, ostensibly due to recent failed tests by Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto under the VADA banner, and Quillin agreed. I said then that I applauded the request by Wright, and the willingness to oblige by Quillin. In my view, this level of testing, whether done by USADA or VADA or Prada, is nothing but good for the sport of boxing. This should be done at the higher levels of boxing, period. Every fight, every commission, every promoter.
Now, however, there's confusion in the Wright camp after USADA took samples from both fighters, but two days after taking blood and urine from Quillin and a day after the same from Wright, USADA contacted Wright's lawyer and said they would not be doing the testing after all, according to MaxBoxing.com's Gabriel Montoya.
Wright says that he requested the already submitted samples be tested, understanding that if it was too close to the fight, then that's just how it is. But USADA then informed Wright's lawyer that the samples had been destroyed.
"They told my attorney they threw it out. That’s crazy. Why would they throw it out.?They just finished telling us and they are going to throw it out already? Does this sound crazy?" asked Wright.
I don't know if it sounds crazy, but it sure sounds odd. Don't mistake this: Wright isn't accusing Quillin of anything, nor is he saying he's even suspicious of anything. He simply doesn't understand what changed over a couple of days, between USADA agreeing to administer the testing, then taking the samples, then calling off the testing and destroying the samples.
And frankly, I don't have a theory that wouldn't be marked by suspicion, and yet I've got no reason whatsoever to suspect that either fighter might have failed a test, or anything like that.
USADA reportedly says they didn't have time to educate the fighters as to what to take and what not to take. But the fact is they agreed to do the testing. They took the samples. Then everything changed. Why?
That's the million dollar question.
Personally, and it's nothing to do with either of the fighters here, which I need to make clear, I feel like this entire concept, the legitimate, hired drug testing in boxing, is on the verge of something truly major at some point. It's going to be a process with serious growing pains. The two failed tests are real, but I think the two fighters in question (Peterson and Berto) deserve to have their day in court, so to speak. This situation is just downright odd. It feels like a dam that's cracking, and cracking, and cracking, and sooner or later, is going to flat out bust wide open.