In that aftermath of the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin fight that never came to pass (at least not yet, anyway) over a failed drug test, we now have Wilder defending his heavyweight title against Chris Arreola. During a media conference call ahead of the fight, promoter Lou DiBella give his thoughts on the PED issues in boxing:
"Well, it's an incredible problem. It's a huge problem. It's a problem that's all over the world. You know, it's one thing when a guy is using PEDs and he is hitting a baseball. It's another thing when a guy is taking PEDs and getting into the ring to hit somebody in the head with his fists.
"Chris made reference to a failed marijuana test, and I'm not advocating weed or whatever, but it's sort of a disgrace that there is more testing nationally and across the board for marijuana and suspensions of fighters for marijuana than there are substantive tests for PED."
DiBella went on to emphasize the dangers of PEDs in boxing considering that it's a combat sport, but says that Wilder was still ready to face Povetkin despite him testing positive for a banned substance.
"I think that when everything was taken into consideration, you don't get in the ring when you're standing there as a man with your two fists and the other guys got a weapon in his fists. And, yeah, I think it's a real problem. I think there should be zero tolerance for performance-enhancing drugs and national standards in this country and across the board where drug testing is enforced and cheaters are punished severely."
The issue of PEDs in sports is pretty clearly one that isn't going to be resolved any time soon, and truthfully eliminating it completely may prove impossible. Every time one substance is added to a banned list, there's usually some new designer drug/supplement to take it's place. And around and around we go...But people's lives literally are at stake in this dangerous sport, so mitigating any excessive and unnecessary risks is certainly something to rally behind.