Promoter Lou DiBella addressed a touchy subject in boxing this week at a media conference call for Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title clash with Chris Arreola.
As Wilder was forced to pull out of a voluntary defense against Alexander Povetkin due to a failed drugs test, the subject reared its head on a number of occasions with the media masses and prompted this response from DiBella.
“Well, it’s an incredible problem. It’s a huge problem. It’s a problem that’s all over the world. You know, it’s one thing when a guy is using PEDs and he is hitting a baseball. It’s another thing when a guy is taking PEDs and getting into the ring to hit somebody in the head with his fists.
“Chris made reference to a failed marijuana test, and I’m not advocating weed or whatever, but it’s sort of a disgrace that there is more testing nationally and across the board for marijuana and suspensions of fighters for marijuana than there are substantive tests for PED.
“Cheating is not okay. PEDs are dangerous. They are potentially putting a fighter’s health and safety and life at risk. I could tell you Deontay’s first reaction about when everything broke was he didn’t really care. He had prepared himself and he was going to beat the hell out of Povetkin regardless of any failed drug test.
“I think that when everything was taken into consideration, you don’t get in the ring when you’re standing there as a man with your two fists and the other guys got a weapon in his fists. And, yeah, I think it’s a real problem. I think there should be zero tolerance for performance-enhancing drugs and national standards in this country and across the board where drug testing is enforced and cheaters are punished severely.”