By: Jesse Donathan
Not long after a full moon lit up the surrounding landscape here in the United States, the mass hysteria has once again returned to the combat sports community upon the news of yet another heavyweight testing positive for banned performance enhancing drug (PED) use. A habitual problem transcending sports, somehow the narrative is still perpetuated that the vast majority of athletes are clean and its only a few evil doers ruining the sport for everybody else. Yet, time and time again athletes repeatedly test positive on a near monthly basis for banned prohibited substances.
As of July 24, 2019, Boxingscene.com is reporting that an “A-sample” extracted from heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) prior to Whyte’s scheduled July 20th bout with Oscar Rivas resulted in a positive test for metabolites of the banned performance enhancing drug Dianabol. An anabolic steroid with androgenic effects, Dianabol is also known as “DBol” on the streets.
According to a July 25th, 2019 article titled, “Dillian Whyte tested positive for two metabolites of Dianabol,” author Thomas Hauser writes that, “The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) was advised by UKAD prior to Whyte-Rivas that Whyte had tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone. However, it allowed the fight to proceed as scheduled without notifying the Rivas Camp of the finding.” The report went on to note that Whyte’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, released the following statement:
“Further to reports, I can confirm that both Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas were subject to extensive VADA and UKAD testing for their bout. Both fighters were cleared to fight by both bodies and the BBBofC.”
Whyte, also known as the “Body Snatcher,” is an unusually candid pugilist, who famously quipped that the reason why former champion Anthony Joshua wasn’t feeling himself in the ring the night he lost to champion Andy Ruiz Jr. was because he was competing in the United States under stricter anti-doping testing procedures than that of the United Kingdom.
“It is because you’re in America with the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing and you’re not on the juice, that’s why,” said Whyte. Continuing, Dillian went on to insinuate that, “It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) in American than the UK.”
Back in March, heavyweight Jarrell Miller infamously ran into problems with VADA himself according to an April 20, 2019 ESPN article titled, “Sources: ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed three drug tests,” by author Dan Raphael. Miller reportedly tested positive for the banned prohibited substances GW1516, EPO and human growth hormone (HGH) according to reports. Hearn, who famously had a lot to say to iFL TV following news of Miller’s flagged test results, appears less chatty at the moment as the curtain is pulled back revealing the inner workings of an inept system of governance in boxing.
News of Whyte’s positive test couldn’t have come at a worse time either, boxers Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan both died earlier this week as a result of an accumulation of blows received inside the squared circle. A fact which may or may not exacerbate any consequences sure to come Whyte’s way from the very same people who turned a blind eye to his flagged test results to begin with, allowing him to step into the ring in the first place despite the fact they had advanced knowledge of his positive test results. Which is the real story here, the fight was allowed to continue despite the BBBC being notified by UKAD in conjunction with VADA that Whyte had flagged positive for performance enhancing drug use.
They had prior knowledge, yet unlike in the case of Jarrell Miller who was pulled by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) after his positive tests, astonishingly, the British boxing authorities allowed the fight to move forward as planned despite the flagged test results. In Millers wake, in stepped Andy Ruiz Jr. on short notice to face the seemingly unbeatable Anthony Joshua, and the rest is history as they say, as Ruiz Jr. shocked the world in route to upsetting the statue-esk British champion.
“Under rules in place in the United Kingdom, Whyte has a right of appeal,” writes Thomas Hauser in his July 24, 2019 Boxingscene.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Banned Substance.” According to the report, “UKAD takes the position that, until the adjudication process is over and due process is complete, there has not been a finding that a fighter is in breach of its PED protocols and no sanctions can be put in place by the British Boxing Board of Control.”
Meaning, as far as the BBBC and UKAD are concerned until Whyte has exhausted his appeals process the matter is still as of yet unresolved. Which for those paying attention means the BBBC and UKAD are allowing fighters using performance enhancing drugs to compete against presumably clean fighters despite any concerns about the safety of the fighters or sanctity of sport coming into the bout.
“Ruiz Jr has consistently pushed for the second fight (with Joshua) to be held in New York again and news of Whyte’s reported failed drug test has riled the Mexican,” writes Coral Barry in her July 25, 2019 Metro article titled, “Andy Ruiz Jr will refuse to rematch Anthony Joshua in the UK amid Dillian Whyte doping allegations.” And who can blame him? After Whyte’s positive test, Whyte’s allegations about Joshua receiving a TUE in the UK and the UK’s own insane PED policies Ruiz Jr. would be a mad man himself to step foot in the UK under these current conditions.
The United States is not without its own problems in the world of performance enhancing drug use and sanctioning bodies that look the other way, with both the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) having licensed UFC fighter Jon Jones to fight despite a-typical drug test results according to reports. Famed boxing trainer and ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas has called for a national commission to combat the perceived impropriety in professional boxing, though after Dillian Whyte’s latest run in with UKAD and BBBC maybe its time to start thinking internationally.