Aside from Floyd Mayweather a few years ago, no big name boxer has spoken out as loudly on the suject of PED usage in the sweet science as has Deontay Wilder.
The “Bronze Bomber” has been hammering away on the subject for two years, and, we think, no wonder, being that he’s been the victim of 11th hour cancellations because foes have popped after furnishing dirty urine.
On a recent call Wilder, who holds a 39-0 (38 KO) mark, and will be rumbling March 3 with Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KO) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and on Showtime, was asked about how frustrated he gets because of the way PED positives have affected him:
“So sometimes I still feel that way (like he wants to quit boxing because of the frustration), but also I have to face reality as well too that these guys are going to do it. They’re going to do it and these organization make it worse because they allow them to do it because they bring them back in without suffering any really no type of consequences behind their actions.
“Makes you wonder what they doing when they taking these PEDs. Everybody wants to come up, I understand. Everybody want to feed their family; I understand but how can you say you a man when you take PEDs?”
Perhaps he was then thinking about the May 2016 fight with Alexander Povetkin which was scrapped because the Russian popped for meldonium use.
“When you cheat, when you try to do things to give you that advantage to try to get on top of the game, it doesn’t work that way. So many champions have done it as well. We don’t know how many times these guys do it we just know the number of times that they got caught. The intention is to do it without getting caught. We try to be as smart as we can not to get caught and that’s a problem. I couldn’t even be a man and sit up here and allow nobody to put something in my mouth or stick needles in my arm or in my ass or wherever it goes.”
Was he picturing the Pole Andrzej Wawrczyk, who tested dirty and forced a sub-in situation, with Gerald Washington parachuting in?
“I couldn’t be a man and say that and I win a title and something and say I did it because no, you didn’t. You didn’t do nothing.”
Yep, Wilder is not censoring himself at all on the subject…
“You cheated and that’s bottom line,” the 32-year-old Alabaman continued. “It’s a touchy subject because I’ve been a clean fighter all my life. I never even thought about even taking no drugs or put in my body to make my body do something that it’s not normally supposed to do. I’m a clean fighter. I’m a fair fighter. I bring what I bring and I give you results.”
Ortiz, a 38-year-old Cuban-born hulk, responded on the call: “While he keeps hyping himself and hyping himself and trying to believe in himself, it’s going to be a bad night for him. He’s talking about PEDs. I’ve taken seven tests in a month and a week, seven blood and urine tests for VADA and the New York Commission.”
A few days later, Ortiz got an assist from a man who knows of PEDs; ex BALCO bossman Victor Conte, maybe the best known chemical crafter, who rose to infamy when ensnared in a 2005 PED investigation of mega name track and fielders, sent out a release which proclaims Ortiz’ cleanliness:
Below are some of the quotes from Conte’s response to Wilder:
”I don’t believe Deontay Wilder knows much about anti-doping!”
”I don’t think Wilder’s statement ‘...once a cheat, always a cheat’ is coming from an informed individual.”
”He seems to know about as much about anti-doping as I know about skydiving and I am afraid of heights.”
”Luis Ortiz has been tested seven times by VADA as well as the New York commission.”
”I’ve been assisting the Ortiz camp by helping trainer Herman Caicedo with nutrition and training protocols. In fact, I have tested Ortiz’s blood profile on two different dates and have not seen any of the markers that would suggest any form of drug use.”
”Bottom line. I think Luis Ortiz is a clean athlete and everybody needs to put this ‘once a cheat, always cheat’ stuff aside. I hope it doesn’t become a distraction or sideshow this week and that everyone can focus upon a great fight that is about to happen. My prediction is Luis Ortiz will do a great job and become the new heavyweight champion of the world.”
My three cents: Chatter about Ortiz maybe going back to the well is stemming largely from, we think, footage of him looking positively ripped...
...as compared to how his physique had presented prior.
There are reasons for cynicism; in October 2014, Ortiz’ win against Lateef Kayode the month before was deemed tainted, because his specimen showed excessive nandrolone. “King Kong” got himself suspended for that infraction, but stepped in the PED pothole again.
A November 4, 2017 bout against WBC titlist Wilder was thrown into chaotic flux because a September sample from Ortiz showed the presence of diuretics. He then protested that legitimately prescribed high blood pressure meds were responsible for the red flag test. Bermane Stiverne subbed in for Ortiz, who was punished by the WBC with a fine. He’s maintained to this day the diuretics were not in his vessel with odious intent.
We like to think that Ortiz is as Conte says, clean, with a mind serene because his conscience is clear. But once bitten, then twice…well, no one can blame Wilder or any of us for being still a bit skeptical of the Cuban. That is part of the price one pays for transgressing.