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Sulaiman: Drugs are not a major problem in WBC boxing

The following is one of WBC President Jose Sulaiman’s weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From February 17, translated from Spanish:

The world did not end in December last, as some people interpreted the Mayan predictions, but our planet Earth is sending human beings serious messages. A devastating hurricane came over New York. There are constant earthquakes in many countries. A snow storm fell on Boston and New England as never before in known history. The pope resigns and a lightening falls on the Vatican. Two days later a meteorite falls on Russia, leaving 1,000 injured, while one other, 100-times larger, passes close to Earth at 10% distance compared to the moon.

Several countries are in a permanent war while one other provokes an earthquake with an atom bomb testing. Human beings continue creating more and more controversy. Boxing is no exception. The alleged punishment by USADA of Erik Morales for analysis of minimal doses of clembuterol, even when the USADA lab tests were clean, raises a big controversy and confusion in Mexico. Anybody in this country could have clembuterol, as it is natural for those eating meat. Such a sanction has no acceptance in title bouts of the WBC, as the only ones to make the antidoping tests are the WBC itself and the local boxing commissions, whose tests were clean.

It seems that the USADA extend sanctions when they are aware of an athlete proving positive even when not in action. That is NOT the case in boxing. We only want to check doping for assuring that no boxer competes with any influence of drugs over his rival. The WBC implemented anti-doping tests since 1976, which was the first rule that was implemented after my first election – much before most other sports institutions. The WBC is mainly concerned about stimulants, including marijuana, which it is said that it is depressing, drugs that affect the mind of boxers, not to understand the limits of human endurance. We also forbid any medicine-drug that might hurt the health, sooner or later, of boxers.

I do not favor other muscle-building drug testing unless they are physically dangerous, because boxing is a unique sport that is very different from most other sports. Boxers desperately suffer in every fight to make the weight and there are countless cases of excessive dehydration that threaten their lives. In a boxing match they have two rivals: the weight and his contender. Boxing has 17 divisions. The welterweight division has a 7-pound difference from super welterweight. The heavyweights have about 70 pounds difference from a lightweight.

On the other side, there are athletics – swimming, football, football soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and so many others – where weight or height makes no difference. So what is the problem: If a fighter takes a drug for muscles, for example, he will meet one other boxer of his new weight – so where is the problem? However, if any drug might hurt the health of a boxer, then it is prohibited totally.

This form of looking for outside lab tests was born, I believe, because of the request of our dear champion Floyd Mayweather asking Manny Pacquiao for special lab tests. Afterwards, others came the same. Well, boxing has a rule: all boxers shall be subjected to antidoping tests before or after the fights in the dressing rooms, where laboratory people get it. We, in boxing, care for boxers not being in a fight with any drug influence according to boxing rules.

That is the way that the WBC intends to continue its almost 40 years of having antidoping tests, when only 15 boxers have tested positive with drugs in more than 1,000 fights. Whoever doesn’t like it can go somewhere else. There must be respect and trust of the boxing organization when it has proven to have been honest and impartial, like the WBC has been.

Thank you for reading my thoughts.




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