Let me start off by saying I am glad to be back covering my favorite sport! I may have been silent from the writing side of things, but I have been paying plenty of attention to the happenings inside and outside the ring. I wanted to take the time to go over a problem that has been plaguing Boxing as of late (that we know of), the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) and offer my opinion on what should be done to combat it.
It’s been covered ad nauseum by now, but I’ll get everyone up to speed on the situation that has fallen upon Boxing’s current “Poster Boy” Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Ahead of their blockbuster rematch, Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez agreed to be randomly tested for performance enhancing drugs during their training camps. Canelo’s tests on the dates of February 17th and 20th came back showing amount of the PED Clenbuterol, a chemical that can aid in weight loss while preventing a person from entering into a fully catabolic state. It doesn’t take a doctor to explain why a professional boxer would benefit from a substance that helps you lose weight while maintaining muscle. Canelo’s team released a statement claiming that the failed tests were caused by consumption of beef that was contaminated by the drug. Currently, Canelo is serving a temporary suspension until April 10th 2018 at which time an investigation into the matter will conclude and a verdict should be issued.
This is just the most recent case involving the use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs, all of which have been met with varying degrees of excuses and punishments.
- March 5th 2016, Lucas Browne test’s positive for Clebuterol. Claims to have eaten tainted meat/spiked water in hostile territory after his fight. November 11th 2018, Browne fails another test for Ostarine. Browne was given a 6 month suspension.
- April 30th 2016, Lucian Bute test’s positive for Ostarine
- May 2012, Andre Berto tests positive for norandrosterone
That’s just a small snapshot of the positive PED tests for the last decade, and only from boxers at the World Class level. Numerous other athletes not at the highest levels of the sport have failed tests over the years. One thing all of these athletes have in common, is that they have went on to become licensed, and have fought again!
The purpose of this article isn’t to point fingers and accuse anybody of being a cheater. For all we know, every athlete is genuine and truthful in their claims that they didn’t knowingly take any PED’s. However that doesn’t change the fact that the chemicals are in the athlete’s body and therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, they reap the benefits of the drugs on fight night. Boxing is a brutal sport and every time a fighter steps into the ring, it could be their last. Care needs to be taken in this case with Canelo, given that he is a high-profile star in the sport and (in my opinion) a temporary ban should be instituted until the entire effects of the drug can be expelled from his body. This will send the message to the rest, regardless of your status in the sport, you need to be diligent in keeping tabs on what goes into your body.