Wladimir Klitschko was long lauded throughout his career as an ambassador for clean sport as he dominated the heavyweight division.
The now-retired unified king sat down for an interview regarding the current climate in boxing following the revelation that top star Canelo Alvarez was banned for six months due to an adverse finding.
Speaking regarding the delicate matter of doping, Klitschko told 112.international: “Well, there is a lot of smoke and obviously the fire is there.
“When you see it so constantly and on such a huge scale, systematically, it’s definitely betraying the philosophy of sport.
“Sport is about competing against each other and may the best man win. Athlete to an athlete, boxing is one of the most honest sports because there are no teams.
“OK, the fighters have their teams but they’re outside of the ring. Inside the ring, it’s just two gentlemen testing their abilities against each other and the one who fights better will eliminate his opponent and win.
“But if you’ve doped and I’ve not, then it’s basically cheating. And you’re cheating your fans.”
Asked his opinion of the amateur and athletic scandals which has rocked pugilism and beyond recently, Klitschko was adamant widespread changes are needed.
“Yes, absolutely. It’s always a competition. Who is going to get in the top five or ten at the Olympic Games? Who is going to win the most medals?
“In some sports, it’s simply about running faster, so if you dope, you’ll win. But in boxing, it’s about eliminating the other person physically.
“There have been deaths in boxing throughout history and if that were to happen because one fighter has doped, there are no excuses.”
On what needs to be done moving forward, Klitschko believes tougher measures at the highest level would be a great starting place.
“Obviously. World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has taken millions of samples down the years, collecting and freezing them and always improving their system. It’s important that all athletes are tested,” he said.