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Claressa Shields talks PEDs in women’s boxing, fight with Habazin to have VADA testing

The two-division champ wants VADA testing for all world title fights, male or female.

Claressa Shields v Ivana Habazin - Press Conference Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There may be an assumption on the part of some fans that female fighters don’t use PEDs, or are not as likely to use illegal performance enhancers.

But those folks may have missed the chat Mia St. John had on the Everlast TALKBOX podcast, when she talked about the lure of using illegal supplements.

The issue came up during a conference call to hype the Oct. 5 Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin fight on Showtime. Shields, never shy about speaking her mind, touched on the subject of PED use on the ladies side.

Shields (9-0, 2 KO) was asked if she had ever thought someone might be using PED’s when she fought them as a pro.

“Yes, I’m not going to do that,” said the 24-year-old, promoted by Dmitriy Salita. “Honestly, I don’t know. I wanted a VADA testing for (the fight against Christina) Hammer. For some reason, we didn’t have it for that fight. But I wanted VADA testing for that fight, but we didn’t get it.

“I’m happy that there’s VADA testing for this fight,” she said, speaking on her upcoming tango, which will unspool in Flint, Michigan. “But I think every world champion should be doing VADA testing especially after Mia St. John came out talking about she was on PEDs her whole career and all this craziness. I think that every world champion, male and female, should be open to do VADA testing because it’s just safer for the boxers and I think that they should be clean.”

The issue of PED testing popped up before the recent Heather Hardy vs Amanda Serrano fight. The WBC is pushing for more testing, and now has it so every lady in the top five of every division is asked to enter voluntary testing, in their Clean Boxing Program. A WBC 154-pound belt will indeed be up for grabs in the Shields-Habazin. Habazin is rated No. 2 at 160, while Shields is the WBC champ.

”I’ve always been a clean athlete,” stated Shields, ”and I’m not going to say who I think do PEDs, I really don’t know. I hate to have to feel it’s been out there because I don’t know. People think, ‘I just need this,’ but I’m just strong because I work my ass off.”