Explained: How the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program works

WBC 14/11/2017

The WBC was the first organization in sports to implement mandatory anti-doping tests for all championship fights since 1975.

The WBC has been a leader in boxing and all sports with regards to safety, and it is the WBC who has changed the sport, making it more humane and safe for all participants with the implementation of many rules and procedures.

The WBC introduced the Clean Boxing Program in 2016 after many years of preparations and planning. The Clean Boxing Program is unique in boxing and has no compromise, and the only priority is to protect the safety of our fighters.

The WBC has an agreement with VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, who, as an agency, is in charge of administering the Clean Boxing Program. VADA coordinates the sample collection, chain of custody, and laboratory analysis. The WBC is in charge of managing the results.

The CBP has performed close to 400 tests all over the world, and there have been a few adverse findings from these tests which are recorded as positive tests of prohibited substances.

The CBP has a specific protocol to handle each individual case and a study is performed, taking into consideration all factors of importance that have to do only with that specific case. Each case is different from one another, different substances, amounts, and many other factors that need to be analyzed during the investigation protocol.

It is of extreme importance that the general public understands that each case is absolutely different from the others, and each case has its specific process of evaluation.

The WBC takes the anti-doping program as a top priority and proof for that is the Clean Boxing Program, which has all transparent administration and which has cost the WBC a large amount of money and countless hours of additional work, which is our pride as there is nothing more important than the protection of the fighters. The WBC results management will certainly be questioned and criticized. However, we stand tall knowing that safety and justice is being served. This is not a popularity contest, and each adverse finding must be handled with absolute respect to the athlete’s rights of a due process.

As an example, it is important to understand the complete process performed on the Luis Nery adverse finding from the test performed in Tijuana on July 27 before Nery traveled to Japan for his challenge of the WBC title against Shinsuke Yamanaka. The test was reported as positive several days after the fight took place for the substance Zilpaterol. Nery was tested in Japan three additional times with the results coming out negative.

The WBC conducted a thorough investigation with anti-doping experts and consulted the Health Ministry of Mexico and the National Ministry of Sports of Mexico. The WBC conducted interviews and research about the specific substance of that finding on Luis Nery.

Each case is handled independently and the same process applies.

The Clean Boxing Program is a reality and it is, through the exemplary participation of most members of the boxing community, a huge success. It is due to the commitment shown by most promoters, managers and especially fighters, that the program is working.

It is time to enter Stage 2 of CBP. The WBC is in the process of implementing a diversity of programs to work in conjunction with the CBP, including:

· The creation of the WBC Nutrition committee. Dr. Philip Goglia has been appointed as Chairman, and a variety of important programs are being developed to be introduced in 2018. Nutrition has direct relation with potential doping, as many fighters consume “supplements,” and it is a fact that many supplements contain PEDs. Other supplements are contaminated from the production facilities, and some supplements are recommended or given to the fighters without their even looking at the contents.

· Establishment of a world awareness campaign with the support of Continental Federations, national boxing authorities, and local boxing commissions. The CBP webinar is a tool that everyone must watch and learn its contents. But there is also a need to continuously educate the boxing community on PEDs, illegal procedures, new drugs, and most importantly, on the dangers for anyone ingesting illegal substances.

· Reinforcement of the testing plan worldwide via VADA.

· Weekly awareness and instructional bulletins to all fighters enrolled in CBP.

Boxing is noble sport. Boxers are humble and believe in fair play. Boxers need to be educated and guided, and we must help them identify those areas of concern. We must all battle the few criminals who reach out to gyms and fighters to offer illegal substances and procedures by misleading them. That is a reality and we must face it. Boxing has no room for cheaters – you don’t “play” boxing. Doping can result in fatal injuries to the opponent, but also will certainly irreversibly damage the person taking drugs by damaging the liver, kidneys and heart, and in many cases, developing cancer.