By Conrad Primero
In the past two weeks, two top boxers tested positive for testosterone or performance enhancing drugs, Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto.
Peterson was scheduled to face Amir Khan on May 19, but the Nevada athletic commission decided not to allow the fight to go through because Peterson failed both his sample A and B urine drug tests. Peterson used Testosterone Replacement Therapy, and apparently he used TRT when he beat Khan in 2011. Victor Conte’s fighter Andre Berto recently tested positive for trace amounts of Nandrolone, one of the worst steroids to take because it stays in your system for many months and is easily detected even with the most rudimentary testing. Both Peterson and Berto were the ones to request the testing, and both used VADA not USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency).
VADA is the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, they test any athlete who volunteers to undergo strict and random drug testing. VADA is headed by Margaret Goodman MD and Victor Conte is an adviser. Conte was most well known for his BALCO scandal and designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) which was undetectable at the time, he was able to beat the Olympic standard drug tests and supplied steroids to various athletes. Conte served his time in prison, and has now turned his life around. He is one of the more popular guys in boxing and is well known for his close working relationship with boxer Nonito Donaire. He has a bevy of other fighters he works with from mixed martial arts and boxing, recently he worked with Zab Judah, he worked with Andre Ward, and Andre Berto to name a few. People are now accusing Conte of giving Berto steroids, this is just ridiculous. I don’t think a guy like Conte would be stupid enough to use an old drug like Nandrolone that is easily detectable and doesn’t flush out of your system for months to a boxer he is working with. Why would Conte also allow his fighter to undergo VADA testing if he was giving him Nandrolone, it makes no sense. Conte advises his fighters not to take any other supplement that he doesn’t personally approve. Many of these bodybuilding supplements sold online or over the counter are not FDA approved, and could contain banned substances such as pro-hormones, and Berto probably took another supplement without checking in with Conte first.
Conte is innocent in my eyes. If he did give Berto a tainted supplement and was dumb enough to use Nandrolone than he deserves to be banned from boxing, but I highly doubt a guy like Conte would be foolish enough to do that knowing his reputation is on the line. What this shows is VADA is doing drug testing the proper way, and all commissions should use it. It should become standard because a lot of fighters who could be using performance enhancement drugs are beating the tests that are currently implemented by state commissions. Conte is also right when he says that Manny Pacquiao should submit to VADA testing if he doesn’t trust USADA. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum suggested that Pacquiao would submit to drug testing but if it was another agency associated with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) giving the tests and not USADA, now that USADA is being called into question by Conte for having an outdated style of testing, I think VADA would be the best way to go. Remember, USADA is whats used in the Olympics and Conte knows how to really test guys because he was able to beat Olympic tests, this is why VADA was able to catch two boxers within two weeks time using banned substances.
I think all boxers and MMA fighters should submit to VADA testing and really set an example. If Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight I think the best form of testing is VADA, its fair and as of right now it’s the most efficient in catching drug cheats.
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