Oscar Valdez’s failed drug test means that the sport’s policy is all about performance


As a sport that has historically been associated with everything from organizational chaos to total corruption, boxing has rarely become its best advocate from the perspective of public relations.

Looking at the impact of the undefeated WBC Junior Lightweight Champion Oscar Valdez on the positive test of the banned substance phentermine, this will obviously not prevent him from playing against amateur opponent Robson Consecaão (16-0) on September 16. , 8 KO) in the game to defend his title. In the 10th round, the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona won the highest ranking of the ESPN card.

According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger report on ThursdayThe Pascua Yaqui Tribal Movement Committee ruled that Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) will be allowed to continue fighting, even though his A and B sample tests were collected by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) on August 10. 13. Dirty.

Pascua Yaqui Commissioner Ernie Gallardo refused to explain his decision to ESPN. At the same time, WBC Chairman Mauricio Zuliaman stated that sanctions would not prevent Valdez from defending his title. He won the 10th round knockout match against Miguel Bechert in February. champion. Suryaman also said that Valdez will not face any form of punishment.

For the completeness of the sport, the optical effects of this decision are as frightening as the overall situation is confusing.

Phentermine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases endurance and is listed as a banned substance by VADA. Both fighters signed an agreement. WBC also uses the agency as part of its clean boxing program. The cost of VADA is lower than similar testing agencies such as USADA or more fragile state committees, and because of the use of carbon isotope ratio (CIR) testing, it enjoys the most thorough reputation in the sport.

However, the Pascua Yaqui Committee only abides by the World Anti-Doping Agency rules, which only ban the substance during the “match period” (starting at 11:59 pm the day before the match). According to ESPN’s report, phentermine has a half-life of approximately 20 hours, which means that it can be completely eliminated from the fighter’s system in just four days.

Valdez, a 30-year-old Mexican, claimed that he “did not know” that he had taken illegal drugs. He was tested again on August 30 and the result was negative, although the test was performed 17 days after his initial failure result.

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VADA only reports the results without making a ruling, which makes the committee responsible for deciding the fate of Valdez. Valdez’s lawyer Pat English and promoter Bob Arum both explained the failed test by accusing Valdez of switching from coffee to herbal tea during the training camp.

This is a concept that was frantically mocked by Victor Conte, the shameless former BALCO head who was jailed in 2005 after pleading guilty to distributing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes and money laundering. Conte now runs his own sports nutrition company, often used in boxing, called SNAC. He told ESPN that the response of herbal tea is similar to the excuse that “dog ate my homework”.

Regardless of whether Valdez’s statement is honest, or whether the trace substances found in his system were deliberate, letting him defend his title on a large platform is openly complaining about any credibility test that boxing still retains about drugs. And the health of its participants.

In addition to the work done by VADA, the sport’s reputation for PED was not good at the beginning. VADA is an independent organization founded in 2011 by a long-term circulatory doctor and Margaret, nominee for the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2021. Dr. Goodman.This is a deteriorating reputation Investigative work by reporter Thomas Hauser and his revelations to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2018Since 2015, the company has also served as UFC’s anti-doping partner.

Hauser reported that in the eight years that began in 2010, of the 1,501 boxing tests conducted by the US Anti-Doping Agency, only one reported a positive test to the State Sports Commission. The test in question was the positive result of Eric Morales on Clenbuterol A and B samples in 2012, and it was only exposed because it was leaked on the Internet by a no longer operating website. To make matters worse, Morales was still allowed to participate in the last game of his Hall of Fame career, which was the fourth knockout round of the rematch between him and the then unified junior welterweight champion Dany Garcia.

Valdez’s situation is similar to that of Garcia, and despite the solid evidence, he is still allowed to fight. Even after the recent precedent that VADA rules led to penalties, when Billy Joe Sanders saw that his 2018 match with Demetrius Andrade was cancelled by the Massachusetts Athletic Commission. Sanders tested positive for oxyprofen. Although WADA believed that the drug did not meet the competition requirements, it was still banned by VADA.

Considering the cynicism of many observers about boxing, thinking that drug testing is nothing more than a window decoration or insurance policy for everyone from the Internet to the promoters, Valdez’s story does not refute this too much.

Regardless of whether boxing’s drug testing protocol was merely a verbal service, the rules were broken and the prohibited substances prescribed by the testing agency agreed to be used by the two boxers were clearly discovered. Ignoring this situation and continuing business as usual for the greater good of the sacred dollar is an imaginable hypocritical act.

In this case, the only honest move is to get all the people involved to publicly admit that they actually rarely care.





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About the Author: Agnes Zang