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WBC places Oscar Valdez on “probation,” will not strip title

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The local athletic commission cleared Valdez to fight Robson Conceicao next week

Miguel Berchelt v Oscar Valdez - Fight Night Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Yesterday, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission ruled that Oscar Valdez September 10th title defense against Robson Conceicao could proceed as planned despite Valdez’s A- and B-samples both testing positive for the VADA-banned stimulant phentermine. Now, the WBC has released its own ruling on the situation.

In a lengthy statement full of effusive praise for Valdez (29-0, 23 KO) and his team, the sanctioning body declared that he will not be stripped of his super featherweight belt, citing Valdez’s previous negative tests and cooperation while claiming that phentermine “is an appetite suppressant prescription medication with no documented in-competition performance enhancing effect or advantages.”

Instead, the following will occur:

1 The WBC will officially sanction the Valdez v. Conceicao bout for the WBC World Super Featherweight Title, which will take place as originally scheduled on September 10, 2021.
2. The WBC will donate the totality of the sanction fees it will receive from that bout into the WBC-CBP program and into the WBC José Sulaimán Boxers Fund.
3. The WBC will design and implement several mandatory programs at Champion Valdez’ sole cost including:
a. Taking a substantial number of random antidoping tests in the next six months as determined by the WBC-CBP;
b. Enrollment, active participation, and strict compliance with a weight management program including nutrition and hydration components designed by the WBC Nutrition Committee; Champion Valdez and his team must receive completed certification of this program.
c. Once he completes the above programs, Champion Valdez shall serve as a WBC Ambassador, whereupon he shall make a minimum of six personal appearances to promote and educate attendants on principles consistent with clean boxing, Weight management proper practices and with the WBC social responsibility values.
4. The WBC will place Champion Valdez in probation status for a period of 12 months. Any whereabouts failure or adverse analytical finding during the probationary period will result in an indefinite suspension from all WBC activity, immediate suspension of recognition of any WBC privilege (championship or status) until the matter is resolved; and being shown as Not Available in WBC World ratings.

I’ve long argued that the WBC’s blatant favoritism, hidden beneath an almost patronizing façade of professionalism, makes them every bit as toxic and loathsome as the WBA. Between this and the cases of Luis Nery, Julio Cesar Martinez, and Canelo Alvarez, it’s clear that the WBC’s favorite fighters are not beholden to the same rules as the rest.

As others have pointed out, it’s flat-out stupid to use the fact that he’s tested negative throughout his career as an excuse to lessen his punishment. On top of that, the whole “phentermine doesn’t actually enhance performance” bit is an idiotic dodge by Sulaiman, who’s no stranger to misrepresenting science for his own ends. Both Victor Conte and Memo Heredia assert that it does have a positive effect, but Heredia also points out that the argument is moot anyway. The WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program” goes by VADA regulations, and VADA explicitly bans phentermine and other stimulants whether in or out of competition.

Public pressure has recently forced the WBA to at least put on the appearance of cleaning up their act. It’s long past time to put the WBC through the same wringer.