Nonito Donaire will be the first pro boxer to have year-round, true Olympic-style drug testing. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Super bantamweight titlist Nonito Donaire will begin year-round, true Olympic-style drug testing with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), a major step forward (in theory, at least) for drug testing in boxing.
Top Rank's Bob Arum has come out in support of the move, and says he'll aim to bring Top Rank's full roster on board with the testing. Arum says he believes that with proper education and a full schedule of testing, fighters can avoid the sort of positive tests that VADA recently popped with Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto.
"We are going to talk to our fighters and have them all enroll in this program. ... It makes all of the sense in the world. You test them all year. Rather than it being a 'gotcha' program that simply catches cheats, the fighters are made aware of what to put and not put into their body. As part of this, we’ll educate the fighters."
Whether or not we get any more fighters signing up remains to be seen, but this would be the way to do it, as Arum says. This is how you change the game with drug testing. It's not a month of testing. It's constant testing.
Donaire (28-1, 18 KO) remains connected to Victor Conte, who works with VADA, and has been outspoken about his status as a clean athlete. The testing won't begin until the day after his July 7 fight with Jeffrey Mathebula.
Hopefully this is step one on the way to a more serious stance on drug testing in boxing. But I can't help but note the hilarity of both major promoters in the United States both starting to talk real testing and choosing, of course, different companies. Golden Boy is favoring USADA, and Top Rank is now favoring VADA. Of course. Of course.