Former World Boxing Council super-welterweight champion Mia St. John has opened up to WBN following her explosive admission on the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs.
The 51 year-old, who last fought in 2016, amassed a 49-14-2 record in almost two decades as a professional and is revered as one of the boxing trailblazers of her time.
Controversially over the weekend, St. John accused some on social media of singling out Canelo Alvarez for ‘a bashing’ after the Mexican was banned for six months over a positive test for Clenbuterol.
Giving a subsequent interview to the US media, St. John believes some of her comments are now being taken out of context by those who have since labeled the Californian ‘a lifelong cheat’ for her troubles.
St. John insists this is far from the case and used this new interview opportunity to clarify her comments follow THAT tweet regarding Canelo.
“It all started with the ‘GGG-Canelo’ tweet but clearly I didn’t mean ‘everyone’ cheats, rather than many in the sport do,” St. John exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I don’t feel that being honest is damaging to my reputation as midway through my career I got clean and tried to talk to people about the widespread use but no-one wanted to hear it.
“I even approached a WBC representative in 2012 and voiced my disappointment with the lack of testing. They are now the only sanctioning body that addresses the issue and fights diligently for a change in the sport.
“I think some of the public misrepresented my quotes by saying I did it (used PED’s) throughout my entire career, but this is false.”
Asked what the overall response has been to her admission so far, St. John replied: “I’ve has some good and some bad, but I’m used to being a lightning rod in boxing, though.
“I’ve been aking for a better system for eleven years now and if we continue to stay silent about the problem, nothing will change. This is why I’ve spoken up about but I feel hurt and sad that certain people in boxing refuse to come clean.
“Maybe they see what’s being done to me and they want no part of it, I get that.”
The 1999 Playboy cover girl continued: “It does hurt (when people focus on the negative) and it really sucks being bashed all over the place, but I’m still glad I said something. Hopefully, younger fighters will learn from my mistakes.
“I suffered a lot of health problems because of it and I want these kids to know that it’s simply not worth it (taking PED’s).
“No one will tell you the real side effects and dangers of these drugs. They need to know what they are getting into and someone has to speak up.”
Whether she’s worried about being stripped of the title she claimed against Christy Martin in 2012, St. John pointed out that PED’s played no part whatsoever in her greatest accomplishment.
“I don’t see why I’d be stripped of my belts as I was clean. If I’m going to be stripped of my belts when that was the case, then surely that must apply to all fighters – don’t you think?”
Concluding on her current goals to help warn as many people as possible, St. John is hopeful some of those who remain sceptical can eventually see the bigger picture.
“I’ve been promoting mental health and well being for the last decade and especially after my son passed. I have had multiple surgeries as a result, I believe – of steroid use, so to educate youngsters in some capacity of the dangers is what I will do,” she pointed out.
“It’s only now, a decade later that I’m starting to feel recovered from all the damage and I feel better than ever. Steroids can and will affect your mental health, which is something rarely talked about.
“I started a non-profit center for well being and I teach my students the importance of staying away from ALL drugs.
“I’ve shared with many of them the dangers of what I overcame, so to risk your health and life for any sport is never, ever worth it!”
For more information on Mia St John’s work visit Miastjohnfoundation.org
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay