The lack of urgency and strength of commitment to anti-doping in boxing may or may not be puzzling to you, depending on what you think the rate of PED usage is among top tier boxers in the professional realm.
If, as some fighters and trainers have been telling us of late, “most” or “many,” at least, of the top 20 types in the upper reaches of the rankings, are not fighting clean, then it might make sense that more boxers are themselves not banging the drum for more stringent testing.
Typically, your Porsche owners aren’t the one lobbying transportation boards to reduce the top MPH limit on highways, right?
The WBC is seen as the best handler of the PED issue among sanctioning bodies. Their Clean Boxing Program has been, if nothing else, a consistent tool to snare foes of Deontay Wilder for using banned substances.
Anyone ranked in the Top 15 by the WBC is signed on to the CPB program, and can be tested at any time. No, the tests aren’t at this point carried out often enough for many folks’ liking, so moving forward, to give this program sharper teeth, more frequent random testing is needed.
Now, it’s seeming the WBA might be following the lead of the WBC.
“The WBA Medical Seminar Will Be Focused On Anti-Doping Issues,” read the headline in a release sent out by the WBA, pointing to their annual convention and a Thursday seminar which will lay out some improvements in their testing protocol. The convention unfolds Oct. 30-Nov. 2in Medellin, Colombia.
“The focus on this issue is vital at this time, since the sport in general has been affected by several cases. For that reason, the main presentation will be led by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA),” the release read.
“The fight against doping is one of the most important issues for the WBA, and therefore, we’ll talk about its consequences and the importance of rigorous samples collection before and after the fights.”
I’m optimistic that we move the ball forward, in the name of safety and fairness, as I’ve found VADA to be a tireless organization in the push to have a clean sport.
There could be, arguably, no better standard bearer for a push to stringent testing and public profiling as a clean athlete who is seeking to be a role model in this realm than WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
The Brit hitter won his latest outing, Saturday in Wales, against Carlos Takam. His promoter, Eddie Hearn, took to social media to advance the concept that AJ is open to being a force in the cause of having a clean sport, topped by athletes who agitate for level playing fields.
We can hope; it is easy to fold to cynicism, and accept that methods to avoid detection will win out against law and order. But it isn’t right, to the clean pugilist fighting the PED enhanced foe, and to the users themselves, who, intuition tells you, will be adversely affected by using exotic and illegal chemicals to gain an edge, decades down the line.
And to the concept of lawful societies; if we give in to hopelessness and wave the surrender flag to PED usage, chalking it up to an inevitable progression in the supplement space, then we move closer to a word where integrity is a rarity and the desire of winning, at any cost, leaves us unable to boast of any moral superiority.