by B.A. Cass
Luis Ortiz made a visit on Friday night to the Baptist Hospital of Miami—not as a patient, though. He was there, along with his management team, to get documentation. According to his trainer, German Caicedo, Ortiz had been previously admitted to the emergency room for high blood pressure on two separate occasions.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
“He was put into the ICU because it [his blood pressure] was entirely too high,” Caicedo says. “His blood pressure was two hundred over something.”
VADA shows up unannounced. “In our scenario,” explains Caicedo, “we were at the track running. They called and said, ‘We’re at the gym.’ We raced over there. Luis peed. Then we were asked to fill out the paperwork.”
According to Caicedo, Luis Ortiz didn’t fill out any of the VADA paperwork: “I’m not saying he can’t read and write, but education is not his strong point. So, we filled it out for him. And we filled out everything. And when asked what he was taking, we put ten, twelve different things. But we were thinking fitness-wise, performance wise. If anything, we’re guilty of not filling something out properly. And VADA didn’t ask, because it’s not their job to help fighters pass.”
Still, Caicedo and Ortiz know that ignorance is no excuse.
“We’re not stupid people over here,” Caicedo says, responding to the suggestion that Ortiz may have been cheating the system. “We knew we were being watched like we’re under a microscope. If we were going to cheat, wouldn’t we put the blood pressure medication that we knew we were taking as a diuretic to mask—wouldn’t the first thing we do is put it on the form?”
Caicedo makes a very good point. Why would Ortiz and his team risk shocking VADA and the WBC? It would have caused much less of a scandal if they had simply reported it.
If it turns out to be true that Ortiz’s doctors prescribed him this life-saving medication and that he had to visit the ER twice because of high blood pressure, then it’s going to come down to the DiBella and the WBC vs. the American Medical Association. Is that a fight those organizations really want to have? If a licensed medical doctor prescribed a certain medicine to Ortiz, who are they to say it’s not right?
And if the WBC calls off the Ortiz-Wilder fight, then they must strip Luis Nery of his bantamweight title. After all, the 118-pounder tested positive for zilpaterol before his August fight Yamanaka. Does the WBC think it’s okay for fighters to inject substances used to increase the size of cattle, yet think it’s wrong for fighters to use medication prescribed for high blood medication? There can’t be different standards for different fighters. That wouldn’t be right.
What does Deontay Wilder have to lose in taking this fight?
If Wilder wins handily, he can claim it was an easy fight because Ortiz is a bum. If he struggles and still scores a victory, he can claim it was only hard because Ortiz has been doping. And if Wilder loses, well, he can again say it’s because Ortiz has been doping. There’s no way Wilder can’t spin the result of the fight into a victory.
Unless of course, Wilder loses and loses big.
Wilder keeps saying he’s the most feared man in boxing, but he found a way to out of fighting Dillian Whyte. And let’s be honest, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington—these are hardly Hall of Fame contenders. Wilder hasn’t faced a serious threat in years. Caicedo puts it more bluntly: “He’s nothing but a coward. Him and DiBella.”
“Wilder already said he’d walk away from the fight,” Caicedo says. “That in no way shape or form is someone who wants to fight. Come on, man. If Wilder tested positive for everything in the book, Ortiz would still fight him. He wouldn’t think twice.”
Wilder he has a choice: face another easy opponent or take on Luis Ortiz on November 4th. Which one seems less cowardly to you?
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WithThePunch