Miller Receives Six Month Suspension for Failed Drug Tests
By: Jesse Donathan
News broke Monday afternoon, April 29, 2019 that undefeated heavyweight boxer Jarrell Miller has officially been suspended for six months by the World Boxing Association (WBA) for his failed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) performance enhancing drug tests. Miller tested positive for the prohibited substances GW1516, human growth hormone (HGH) and Erythropoietin (EPO) earlier this month, costing “Big Baby” Miller a respectable pay day and a shot at the world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the process.
BoxingInsider.com remarked Monday afternoon on Twitter that Miller, “failed for three separate PED’s. Most of these guys don’t even fight every six months. So that “suspension” is no suspension at all, really.” Miller has received, for all intents and purposes, a smack on the wrist for multiple infractions that most people would consider of a fairly serious nature.
For those with intimate knowledge of the professional combat sports world, the use of performance enhancing drugs in the ring, cage or field of play will come to them as no surprise. It’s the open, dirty little secret among those in the know. The charade starts when fighters, managers and promoters alike attempt to spin the truth into a fantasy world of rainbows, unicorns and lollipops. The laughable notion that most of the elite professional athletes are clean, and it’s the dirty, evil doing minority spoiling the impeccable integrity of the sport for everyone else is always front and center as the various entities attempt to spin the truth in order to protect their own necks, legacies and paydays from the real truth.
In what I have long described as the most eye-opening article on the use of performance enhancing drugs in competitive sports that I have ever read, a November 11, 2008 Spiegel.de article titled, “The Dealer Olympias” details an interview with Angel Heredia, former coach and trainer to Olympian Marion Jones, who explains his insights into the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Spiegel would go on ask Heredia if he was planning to watch the 100-meter finals in Beijing, who replies, “Of course. But we will not experience a clean Olympic champion. Not even a clean participant.”
“Of eight runners,” Spiegel asks Heredia in an open-ended question, there, “will be eight doped,” explains Heredia. Spiegel then goes on to explain that Heredia can’t prove any of his statements however. “It’s undoubtedly like that,” explained Heredia who knows a thing or two about Olympic athletes doping. What this information should mean for you, the viewer, is that the most elite athletes across professional sports are also using performance enhancing drugs. While there will always be some exceptions to the rule, its almost a given that some of the biggest stars in combat sports today are also on the juice.
In an April 20, 2019 IFL TV YouTube video titled, “You are (Expletive) Disgusting – Fuming Eddie Hearn Rips into Jarrell Miller Over 3 Banned Substances,” the boxing promoter and Anthony Joshua representative had plenty to say on Jarrell Millers failed tests. “I am disgusted that someone would try and take these lengths, and gain these edges in a physical fight, especially against one of our fighters. Especially against a friend of mine. Honestly, its (expletive) it’s really, like, it’s made me question many things. Many things. Even the sport.”
“What do you think will happen to Miller,” the reporter asked. “He should be banned immediately,” in Hearn’s estimation. “He must have been unlucky,” Hearn told IFL TV. “He knows they’re coming and they’re coming every week. You can’t cheat the VADA system that we have in place I believe,” Hearn proclaimed as threw his hands up in the air almost as to convince us he has no other knowledge to the contrary. “I mean it’s, like I say, it has to be the worst case of drug results of all time,” said Hearn.
If Hearn honestly believes this is the worst case of drug results of all time, he probably hasn’t heard of former UFC title challenger and Bad Guy Inc. CEO Chael Sonnen who tested positive for HGH, EPO, anastrozole and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) according to a June 28, 2014 bleacherreport.com article titled, “Chael Sonnen Tests Positive for 4 Banned Substances in Latest Drug Test” by author Steven Rondina.
There is almost a mass psychosis occurring in the combat sports entertainment industry, where the promoters, fighters and fans alike refuse to acknowledge the truth and play into the politically correct lie in order to convince themselves their favorite athletes are naturally superhuman. As opposed to unnaturally superhuman, which drives advertisers and investors away who naturally seek to protect their investments by avoiding any kind of negative connotations associated with their brand.
And therein lays the problem, money drives deception, which in turn keeps the charade going despite the overwhelming evidence to suggest performance enhancing drug use in competitive sports is as sure of a bet as winners and losers on the field of play. Yet the demonization of athletes who fail performance enhancing drug tests continues, despite the reality being all they are really guilty of is getting caught. Otherwise they are only operating on the same field of play as everyone else, the only difference being some athletes get caught and others do not.
“I knew he knew that he was going to get tested,” Hearn told IFL TV. “What worries me more about this sport is, is these people know they are coming and they do that. What the (expletive) they doing when they know that they’re not coming?” Hearn would continue on with the same old, tired argument I have read for years from those espousing the rainbows, unicorns and lollipop fantasy about performance enhancing drug use in sports.
“I know what he’s put in the game, Joshua. So, you’re saying that you’re willing to take everything Joshua has earned in this sport, everything that he’s achieved, you’re willing to take that away by cheating. You know, that’s not fair. Take it away from Joshua on a level playing field, you deserve. You’re the best heavyweight on the planet. But don’t try and cheat the best heavyweight on the planet by being a super human man that gives you the physical edge to do it.”
According to an April 1, 2018 BBC article titled, “Anthony Joshua: From Watford to world champion” the young British boxing champion was, “brilliant at football and athletics and broke the year nine 100m record with a time of 11.6 seconds.” The BBC would go on to write that, “Anthony became very good at the sport of boxing very quickly, and had won all 18 fights at amateur level during his early 20s. He soon set a goal to become an Olympic champion. In 2012, Joshua won the gold medal in the super heavyweight category at the London Olympics.”
An April 29, 2019 mirror.co.uk article titled, “Boxing News: Dillan Whyte Accuses Anthony Joshua of ‘legally juicing’” author Rich Jones wrote that Whyte, “believes boxing has a bigger problem with fighters gaining Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to allow them to use banned substances legally.”
“He has accused heavyweight rival Joshua as being amongst the offenders – something he believes could have contributed to Miller’s decision to try and cheat the system,” wrote the mirror in what, if true, is a fascinating parallel to the sport mixed martial arts (MMA) where TUE exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) were common place before a ban was enacted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and UFC in 2014 according to an ESPN.com Brett Okamoto report titled, “UFC to follow ban on testosterone therapy.”
Until the world of professional combat sports wants to come out of their mass psychosis and face the cold, hard truth that performance enhancing drug use is common even in the amateur ranks we can fully expect the charade to continue. This fantasy notion that most elite professional athletes are clean only serves to fill the pockets of those perpetuating the lie, and until a new paradigm on performance enhancing drug use is adopted to either make the penalties so severe that athletes will think twice about using them or performance enhancing drug use is outright legalized we can expect this ridiculous package of lies to continue.
Khabib’s Explosion: Was it Unexpected and Justified?
By: William Holmes
“This is respect sport….This is not trash-talking sport…I don’t want people talk shit about opponents, talk shit about his father, religion. You cannot talk about religion. You cannot talk about nation. Guys, you cannot talk about this stuff.”-Khabib Nurmagomedov
The talk of the combat sporting world this weekend was the Khabib vs. Conor McGregor UFC fight, which featured Khabib picking McGregor apart before submitting him in the fourth round, then suddenly jumping out of the octagon cage and into the crowd to attack Dillon Danis, a member of McGregor’s team who was sitting cage side and allegedly taunting Khabib.
Chaos ensued afterwards and members of Khabib’s team jumped in the cage to attack McGregor. Suspensions will likely be given out, loss of purse and titles are also a possibility.
The sports world was divided. Were Khabib’s actions justified? Were his actions unexpected?
In order to attempt to understand Khabib, one first has to understand his background and where he is from, something that he was evidently trying to explain in his post fight explanation.
Khabib is from Dagestan, a Russian republic. It has been the forefront of Islamic Insurgency and ethnic tension since the 1990s. It borders Chechnya, the location of a severe conflict with Russia that often featured Chechen fighters infiltrating Dagestan to call for Jihad.
Khabib is a devout Sunni Muslim and well educated. He speaks several languages and is very proud of his culture and heritage.
Insults aimed at his religion or nation are not taken likely. I’m not arguing that Khabib is a terrorist or that he supports armed violent jihad, but pointing out that disrespect against his religion is taken very seriously.
So should we have been surprised by Khabib’s actions? Well, if you had some general knowledge about the region he is from, probably not. McGregor is notorious for his trash talking, but when he insulted Khabib he questioned the support Khabib has in his nation, mocked Khabib by offering him alcohol even though he’s a Muslim who does not drink, and called his manager a terrorist rat.
Khabib has been exposed to religious warfare and terrorism, and to lump him and his team with real terrorists was undoubtedly an insult that he could not ignore.
Khabib claims Dillon Danis hurled Muslim insults at him after the fight and that’s why he jumped over the fence, a claim Danis denies. But nobody should have been surprised that Khabib was still fired up after his fight with McGregor was over.
“I know my father’s gonna smash me when I go home because…I know he’s gonna smash me.”-Khabib Nurmagomedov
“I think that for Khabib, the most severe sanctions would be my regard. I am going to regard this severely. I warned him. For me, the most important thing is discipline. You can do whatever you want in the octagon, but beyond its barrier-this is the border separating civilians, there are children, women, bystanders.
This fight took place within the octagon. That’s the spectacle But I am categorically against fighting outsid the octagon. Outside of the octagon, you need to exist peacefully. Fight in the octagon.”
Now for the million dollar, or two million dollar question. Were his actions justified?
Pre-fight trash talk has been a part of combat sports for years. McGregor and Mayweather’s trash talk was probably more entertaining than the actual fight itself.
But even though Mayweather and McGregor insulted each other greatly leading up to the fight, they were able to be cordial in the post fight interviews.
It’s difficult to find too many situations where a fighter leaped into the crowd immediately after a fight to engage someone in the crowd.
But there has been several situations where members of a boxer’s team jumped in a cage to start a brawl, and they were usually dealt with by the commission harshly.
Roger Mayweather jumped in the ring when Floyd fought Zab Judah and was hit with a low blow and a punch behind the head. An all out melee ensued when members from both camps entered the ring and brawled. Afterwards, Yoel Judah was fined $100,000 and had his license revoked for a year. Roger Mayweather was fined $200,000 and had his license revoked for one year. Leonard Ellerbe was fined $50,000 and had his license revoked for four months. Even Zab Judah received a fine of $350,000 and had his license revoked for a year.
Another example of a brawl happening in boxing was during the riot during the first Riddick Bowe/Andrew Golota fight. The fight was stopped after Golota landed several low blows on Bowe after repeated warnings. Members of Bowe’s security team jumped in the ring and went after Golota.
Rock Newman, Bowe’s manager and promoter, was suspended for a year and fined $250,000 for the incident.
More recently, one would have to look at the fight between Jose Uzcategui and Andre Dirrell, which featured Leon Lawson Jr., the Uncle of Dirrell, sucker punch Uzcategui. Lawson was suspended by the Maryland State Athletic Commission and faced criminal charges as a result.
Of course, one of the most famous post fight brawls or sucker punches was when James Butler sucker punched Richard Grant on ESPN after he lost his fight. He was charged with assault and suspended. In fact, he served four months at Rikers Island as a result.
Were his actions, jumping into the crowd to attack bystanders, justified? Precedent by athletic commission for boxers and members of their team behaving poorly and attacking fighters after a sanctioned fight is over are usually dealt with harshly.
There really isn’t any specific precedent to determine if the actions of Khabib were justified, but it appears likely that the commission won’t find any justification for a fighter to jump into a crowd to start a wild brawl, and will also likely deal with him harshly.
Justified? Also no.
Khabib’s punishment awaits.