Ex-WBC Women’s super-welterweight champion Mia St. John has been embroiled in a heated debate on social media following her admission to using Performance Enhancing Drugs during her career.
The retired 51 year-old, who last competed in 2016, participated in six world title fights during her ring stint – amassing 59 contests over 19 years as a pro.
Initially retorting to what she saw as ‘Canelo-bashing’ on Twitter, St. John began outlining her view that ‘everybody does it’ and no other boxer should be quick to judge the Mexican.
I knew if I came clean I’d be ostracized, but I’d rather live a “clean” life, free from the lies & deception so prevalent in sports. Our lives & health simply are not worth any sport?My FIGHT 4 #MentalHealth is far more significant than a #BOXING match??https://t.co/3dH4rKT3Lk
— Mia St. John (@MiaStJohnBoxer) August 12, 2018
Later, and on the back of exchanges with the likes of former world rulers Tony Bellew and Sergio Mora, both of whom disagreed vehemently, St. John then gave an interview to Lance Pugmire of The LA Times to elaborate on her statements.
“I hate it when other fighters put down other fighters for something we all know is rampant in boxing,” St. John told The LA Times. “I never once tested positive, and I’ve never told anyone this, but now that I’m retired I feel like it’s OK.
“It’s not right, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s a vicious cycle we get caught up in. You’re in a gym. You’re in a big camp. Obviously, I was part of the biggest shows of my time.
“So when your camp is doing it, it’s going around the gym, your sparring partners are doing it, you feel compelled, ‘Oh my God, I have to do it’ to keep up with everybody.
“It’s a mind trick. And once you’re on it, it’s so hard to come off because it becomes very addicting. That’s what people don’t know.
“I’m not going to say what fights (I took PED’s) because then people can trace back to what cards I was on, what camp I was in, who I was training with – I would never out anybody.”
When quizzed about her belief that, ‘everybody does it’ by Pugmire, St. John admitted she may have been a little hasty with her initial remarks.
“Obviously, it’s not every single fighter, but there were a lot. I saw so much of it in my career and I don’t mind coming out with this now because it’s a serious issue that our sport needs to address,” she pointed out.
“I was tested many times. There’s many methods to get around it. Just because you didn’t get caught doesn’t mean you weren’t doing it. It just meant you didn’t get caught. I did my homework.
“They gave us a whole list of what not to do and I knew a lot of stuff I was doing was on that list. I did everything I could to mask it, (I used) masking drugs, catheters with other people’s urine, and then the rest is up to luck.”