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WBC suspends its Clean Boxing Program

Mauricio Sulaiman says it’s impossible to reasonably collect samples at this time so is pausing the program.

Hublot x WBC “Night of Champions” Gala Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Hublot
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

With the spreading COVID-19 virus increasingly necessitating stay at home orders across the globe, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has decided to temporarily suspend the sanctioning body’s Clean Boxing Program. The program is designed so that every WBC champion and ranked contender must enroll in the drug testing program which is overseen by VADA, but with the current climate it’s obviously not practical to be running around, collecting samples from people.

“WBC in agreement with VADA has temporarily suspended all Clean Boxing Program testing. It is not possible to collect samples as collectors and boxers must abide by current policies. We will evaluate conditions in 3 weeks,” Sulaiman wrote on social media.

Sulaiman would soon after post a clarification that this idea was all his, with VADA officials having absolutely nothing to do with it.

“It is the WBC and specifically me as President who suspended Clean Boxing Program and this is not an agreement with VADA. No collectors should be on the streets and no fighters should be in the gyms 3 weeks.”

Some have found it at least a little bit surprising that Sulaiman would make this public declaration in this way, which sort of acknowledges that fighters now have a known window of opportunity to potentially take PEDs knowing they won’t be tested. To that end Sulaiman told ESPN that there are bigger issues at play than the potential for cheating this could cause, but respectfully understands that some people might disagree.

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