By: Hans Themistode
Heather “The Heat” Hardy, had the aforementioned heat placed on her by the New York State Athletic Commission when she was suspended following her recent ring appearance in September earlier this year.
In a sport that loves no one, Hardy had become one of the most beloved fighters in women’s boxing. Before suffering defeat at the hands of Amanda Serrano, Hardy won her first 21 contest in the boxing ring. Unlike most fighters who only look for self, Hardy fought to shorten the pay gap between men and women. She also spoke up about the lack of exposure that women often received.
Hardy’s fighting ability stretched beyond the ring as she also entered the world of MMA. No matter the sport, Hardy competed at a very high level and showed grace and humility when she either came out victorious or when she suffered a setback.
The news of Hardy failing a post fight drug test was jaw dropping. If Hardy was a cheater, then hell, who wasn’t? As soon as the results of her failed test came to light, Hardy did her best to stop the narrative of her being labeled a cheater.
She didn’t give an excuse as to why she failed the test, but more so a reason. There’s a difference.
An excuse gives reasons as to why the perpetrator did what was alleged against them. A reason on the other hand, is simply telling you what actually happened.
What slips the minds of media members and fans alike, is that not only is Hardy a champion level boxer and MMA fighter, but she is also a woman.
During the build up of her contest against Serrano, Hardy was dealing with bloating and wanted to make sure she was 100 percent before stepping into the ring against Serrano. The substance she took was to deal with the bloating, and nothing more.
“I have been an advocate for testing for years,” said Hardy. “I never took a PED and never will — they are dangerous to the user, opponents, sparring partners, while also compromising the sport. Ignorance is no excuse, which is why I volunteered to work with the WBC to bring greater awareness to all aspects of the rules, including those pertaining to prescription meds.”
Originally, the NYSAC gave her a six month ban along with a ten thousand dollar fine. After presenting her case and her reasoning, she was given a lighter sentence. But she will still be lighter in the pockets as the ten thousand dollar fine will stand. Still, Hardy could less about the money, as long as her reputation remains intact she’s a happy woman.
“The opportunity to fight again is what I’m grateful for. There was a small percentage of boxing fans who truly believed I was a cheat. It bothered me to read their comments (on social media) but I really appreciate the incredible support from all of my fans who knew that I am a clean fighter. To be able to return to the ring with my reputation as a clean fighter is the most important thing. I’m a boxer, this is what I do.”
With this mess now behind her, Hardy will look to resume her career as a boxer and MMA fighter in 2020.