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Morales vs USADA: Boxing's 'Olympic-style' testing being widely exposed as a fraud

Erik Morales and the WBC are teaming up to take on USADA, the organization threatening Morales with a two-year suspension from boxing due to a failed drug test in October.

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Erik Morales has vowed to clear his name in the ongoing doping charges levied against him by USADA, which conducted tests that Morales failed late last year before his fight with Danny Garcia on October 20.

Morales tested positive for clenbuterol, which has been used frequently as a performance-enhancing drug in several sports, which he says over and over is "not banned in boxing," a new twist on his "tainted beef" defense from before:

"Clenbuterol is not a banned substance in boxing, and this is backed by words of the WBC and the WBA's representatives. Yes, I tested positive in 2 of the 3 tests with a very minimum of level [of clenbuterol in the positive tests]. The WBC, WBA, and the New York Commission were aware of the issue and allowed the fight to take place. Clenbuterol is not banned from boxing. I have not used any substance for the improvement or benefit of my body. I am, proudly, a clean fighter. [USADA] had accused me of using clenbuterol in my last fight, and they are not a governing body in boxing. Clenbuterol is not a banned substance in boxing and I never used it."

To the surprise of literally zero people, the WBC has decided to back Morales in his fight against USADA, and say they'll allow him to fight in Mexico, which everyone already expected he would do anyway.

The real question being asked here is not whether or not Erik Morales knowingly used clenbuterol, it's what purpose these USADA or VADA tests really serve in boxing. As of this point, my personal belief is this has all become smoke and mirrors; promoters and TV networks and everyone else involved in the money part of the game don't want to lose fights due to failed tests, and only a real doofus would fail a state athletic commission test these days.

So on the one hand, you have a bunch of guys who can say, "Look at this testing I'm doing. It's Olympic-style!" That sounds impressive, until you consider that it's not Olympic-style testing, because it only takes place for a month or so, rather than all the time, with plenty of time for athletes to juice and then stop before the testing begins.

But then you have a reality: USADA can't really do anything. VADA can't either. Andre Berto failed a VADA test last year and as soon as he asked, California relicensed him. Lamont Peterson failed a VADA test last year and after absolutely no punishment other than the WBA yanking their title off of him to make money in the Khan-Garcia fight, he's back on February 22, and everyone's excited. "Yay! There's a world title fight on ESPN2! Wait! We forgot! We don't care about world titles because the sanctioning bodies are jerks! But...yay! World title on Friday Night Fights! What a score!"

USADA can squawk all they want to about suspending Morales for two years, but it doesn't matter. If he wants to fight in Mexico, he will fight in Mexico. And chances are if he wanted to fight in Texas or somewhere else in the States, he could do that. Hell, the supposedly "tough" New York commission allowed him to fight after he failed more than one drug test conducted by USADA. It meant nothing. The show went on and nobody lost their payday.

For myself as a boxing fan, Erik Morales has lost some of my respect. I admire what he's done in the ring over his great career, but he's coming off poorly here. But on the plus side, he's also exposing the uselessness of these extra drug tests, which needed to happen.

These tests have become boxing's way of making people believe they're trying to "clean up the sport," and all that other junk boxing people always say. And like most things that are "boxing's way," it's a load of crap being spoonfed to the gullible, who want to believe, and as we've seen on so many occasions, are willing to blind themselves for this corrupted sport's version of the "greater good."

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