Promoter Eddie hearn believes that the way anti-doping protocols are handled in current boxing is a disaster, after learning that Oscar Valdez he was cleared to fight, despite having tested positive for anti-doping.
“There are many situations. And it all depends on what the commission recognizes, “he explained. Hearn in interview for Social Boxing. “For example, in the case of (positive doping) Billy joe saunders, there was the argument that in the anti-doping test in England everything was fine, but in his VADA test it was not. It’s very confusing. “
The lists of prohibited substances should be unified
Hearn considers that only one list of prohibited substances has to be homologated, since the lists of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) do not match.
And is that the WADA differentiates between banned out-of-competition substances and banned in-competition substances. Phentermine, a substance for which you tested positive Oscar Valdez, is prohibited by WADA in competition, but it is allowed out of competition.
However, the VADA, which was the agency hired to carry out anti-doping controls for a fight between Valdez and Conceicao, it doesn’t make that difference. For the VADA, phentermine is illegal at all times.
The legal defense of Valdez He tried from the beginning to put that argument. That for the WADA phentermine was not a prohibited substance at the time the fighter ingested it.
“There has to be a universal situation, where agencies and commissions recognize a single list of prohibited substances,” he says. Hearn. “Because you can be left in a situation where a certain substance is prohibited in one list, but not in another, and that is confusing.”
That discrepancy in the lists, according to Hearn, allows fighters to seek legal solutions so as not to be penalized for positive doping, as happened in the case of Valdez.
“To find out if a fighter is guilty or not guilty, that gives him the opportunity to make the excuse that he received a list and the substance is not prohibited on that list,” says the promoter. “It is a disaster, as it always is.”
Eddie hearn think that the anti-doping tests of the VADA They have to be extensive, and with more time in advance.
“I think in that fight (of Valdez vs Conceicao) there was a random test done by the CMB, but it is necessary to implement anti-doping tests of VADA from the beginning ”, proposes Hearn. “And not just two weeks before, but eight or 12 weeks before. In all the big fights that we do, we have anti-doping tests for VADA, in those of AJ, in those of Dillian whyte, even in that of Warrington against Lara, to Lara they have done three tests of VADA. They are not random tests of the CMB, but we pay for them. It’s like $ 25,000 for every fight. That’s the problem: the cost. It is impossible to do it in all, but in the important fights we have to be investing in anti-doping tests ”.
VADA must be able to sanction, not just report
For Eddie hearn one of the main problems is that VADA it does not have the power to sanction positive doping cases. The sanction remains in the hands of the agencies or commissions. In the case of Oscar Valdez, was the headquarters commission, the Athletic Commission of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, who exonerated Valdez to let him fight despite the positive doping.
“The problem with VADA is that they cannot sanction, they only report, and they leave the task of sanctioning to someone else, “he says. Hearn. “And with that, someone may be cheating, depending on VADA. But if someone else decides that there is no problem, then the fight is authorized. I believe that VADA it does a great job, but if the commissions and the anti-doping results are not aligned in a single decision, we will continue to have bad decisions or controversial decisions ”.
The promoter believes that it is essential to standardize sanctions and prohibited substances. Let the rules be clear from the start.
“We have to be in the situation where the boxing organizations and the commissions meet and decide that if there is such a situation of testing positive for a substance, these are the specific sanctions. And this is the process. Because at the moment it is case by case, “he said. Hearn.