Boxing took a hit when Oscar Valdez was allowed to fight Friday

·3 min read

Timothy Bradley recently said that he hopes Oscar Valdez gets knocked out in light of the news he tested positive for a banned substance yet will be allowed to fight Robson Conceicao on Friday in Tucson, Arizona. I won’t go that far but I know where he’s coming from.

And I have similar feelings toward the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Council, which are overseeing the card at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz.

Valdez last week tested positive – both his “A” and “B” samples – for the weight-loss medication phentermine, which is also a stimulant. The drug is banned by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, the organization Valdez asked to do his testing.

The appropriate course of action after a blatant violation of the rules? Valdez is removed from the card, stripped of his title and suspended by the WBC, whose junior lightweight belt Valdez owns.

The Commission and sanctioning body had different ideas, which resulted in no punishment.

The former announced that it adheres to the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency, not that of the more-stringent VADA. WADA bans phentermine only during its in-competition period, beginning at 11:59 a.m. the day before the scheduled event.

The fact the commission is on a different page from the sanctioning body and the fighters themselves is odd to say the least.

Meanwhile, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said that Valdez would have no advantage over Conceicao because phentermine isn’t a performance-enhancing drug, a contention that BALCO founder and noted PED expert Victor Conte believes is hogwash.

“You know why it’s a performance-enhancing drug? Because it’s a central nervous stimulant,” he told ESPN. “It accelerates your heart rate. It gives you energy. It gives you endurance. It gives you stamina. It makes it easier to breathe. Your training time to exhaustion would be much longer.”

No advantage? Yeah, right.

Even you believe that Conte is wrong, the fact is Valdez tested positive for a drug that was on VADA’s list of banned substances. It’s an obvious violation. And, again, everyone (except the commission) agreed to work with VADA, which partners with Sulaiman in his WBC Clean Boxing Program. You can’t change the rules midstream to suit your needs, at least not without taking a major hit to your reputation.

Of course, Valdez denied knowingly ingesting the drug. Ignore that. They all play ignorant.

The fact is he’s a drug cheat who shouldn’t be allowed to step through the ropes on Friday night. And both the commission and WBC decided to ignore that fact. In doing so, they failed to fulfil their responsibilities. I can’t provide a reason for their behavior with 100% certainty but you can bet it had something to do with the bottom line. It always does.

As a result, the commission looks horrible. The WBC, already sketchy by its very nature, looks horrible. Everyone associated with the event – except VADA, which did its job – looks horrible. And, sadly, the bleeding doesn’t stop there.

The sport is perpetually under fire as it is, for bad scorecards, deaths in the ring and much more. The last thing it needs are poor decisions that cast doubt (further doubt?) on its ability to prevent doping.

Make no mistake: That’s exactly what the Commission and WBC have done.


Oscar Valdez vs. Robson Conceicao: date, time, weights, how to watch, background

Oscar Valdez gives virtuoso performance, stops Miguel Berchelt

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