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Mia St. John discusses controversial PEDs tweet, drug usage in boxing

Mia St. John tells us more about the tweet that sparked controversy, and her own PED usage while fighting.

Sports Spectacular 2013 - Red Carpet Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular

Former fighter Mia St. John, who kicked up a dust storm when she Tweeted out that “everyone” uses PEDs in the boxing sphere, came on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast to explain and clarify her intent with that Tweet.

On August 9, St. John, who fought as a pro from 1997 to 2016, weighed in on social media regarding the back and forth from teams Golovkin and Canelo. Those squads have been squabbling, in the lead-up to their September 15 middleweight supremacy rematch.

“Everyone does [PEDs] and everyone in boxing knows it,” Tweeted the 51-year-old St. John, who fought on undercards of top tier talent in the later 90s and into the 2000s, referring to some GGG slaps at Canelo for testing positive.

The kickback was swift and severe. Tony Bellew, Carl Frampton, Sergio Mora, and Claressa Shields, among others, took umbrage at the assertion that all boxers seek to get the most of their abilities by utilizing banned substances.

St. John right out of the gate told me that she is actually anti-drug, anti-PED, and has been lobbying that cause for a long spell. She went with a WBC congregation to speak to the pols in DC, to talk anti-drugs, when that crew met President Trump in late May.

“Everyone knows I’m a Canelo fan,” she admitted, noting that probably some part of her is beholden to Canelo, because of shared heritage.

“I just threw out the Tweet in anger, it was just like a fleeting moment, which a lot of people do on Twitter. I always say, ‘Never Tweet when you’re mad, or drunk,’ because you never know what’s gonna happen,” she continued. “Obviously I didn’t mean everyone was doing it, clearly.”

She labeled it “one stupid little Tweet,” and said that it was a culmination, because she’s been talking to commissions and powers that be about PED usage. She wants to shine a light on the issue, and wants to work toward reducing the number of users. She in fact days after the Tweet heard round the world said that she had used PEDs during her career.

The testing for boxers often isn’t sufficient, not frequent enough, and some commissions just don’t take the issue seriously enough, said St. John.

I asked what percentage of the top boxers are using, and she said it’s crazy to wonder if a lot are. Of course a whole lot are using, she said, because many have been caught.

“It seems like nobody really cares about wanting to fix it, they just want to slam fighters that have been caught, and shame us,” she said, instead of wanting to find fixes. PED usage can be seriously detrimental to your health, she stated, emphatically.

The ex-boxer, who lives in California, said that PEDs don’t make you a better fighter, you need to have the skills to pay the bills. Many use PEDs to help in losing weight, she continued. When she quit using PEDs, her weight crept upward, she told us.

St. John (49-14-2 as a professional) said she developed vascular necrosis and had both her hips replaced. She believes those issue were related to using steroids. PED use can prey on the kidney, liver, heart, and she wishes she had better education about the downsides of the chemicals when she was considering hopping on board that train.

She isn’t sure the prevalence of usage today, because she’s not been an active fighter. But back in her day, she said that pushers down-played the negatives to using steroids.

“I have irreversible damage and if I could take it back, do it over again, I would never (have taken PEDs),” she stated. “It’s not worth it. The damage could be with you for the rest of your life.”

She said that yes, she was shocked by the backlash she experienced.

“It surprised me that people took me literally, that I meant everyone,” she shared.

St. John didn’t care to offer specifics, on which fights she used PEDs, but said that it is obvious to a point, because when she stopped using PEDs, her weight crept upward. In her fights in which she fought for WBC crowns, she was not using PEDs, she asserted. She was not using PEDs for her 2012 fight with Christy Martin, she told Talkbox.

We delved more into the how and the whys, such as why some athletes are susceptible to picking up PEDs, while others say no thanks. Hear the entire podcast here.

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