The Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency [VADA] has hit out following a tough week for boxing in which Oscar Valdez was allowed a pass to fight despite testing positive.
Valdez flagged for Phentermine, a weight-cutting drug. After a hearing and talks with the World Boxing Council, Valdez got the benefit of the doubt.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said the failure was a month before the Mexican’s scheduled fight and only 27 nanograms over the limit of 50.
VADA was named several times due to the WBC using the agency for their Clean Boxing Program.
After days of silence, they release a damning statement outlining their view that boxing is still riddled with performance enhancing drugs and cheats.
“Since VADA began its program in 2011, our mission has been steadfast,” they opened. “To remain independent and offer and promote effective anti-doping programs in boxing and mixed martial arts through testing and education.
“Our board of directors and officers have more than 100 years of combined experience in combat sports and anti-doping.
“Some FACTS that have remained unchanged since VADA’s inception include:
“Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) remain a significant problem in boxing and MMA.
“Well over a thousand fights with no PED testing take place in the United States in an average year. And few fighters undergo PED testing in the weeks and months leading up to a fight.
“When PED testing is performed by state athletic commissions, the commissions seldom test for hGH (human growth hormone), EPO (blood doping), and IRMS (a test for exogenous testosterone), all of which are tested for by VADA.
“Only a handful of U.S. commissions use WADA-accredited laboratories (which VADA uses), and even fewer commissions utilize certified doping collection officers.
“VADA is independent of the many public and private entities in boxing and MMA.
“VADA is not a signatory to WADA. So we can adhere to what we believe is needed to maintain the strongest anti-doping program possible specific to combat sports under the financial constraints that we face.
“VADA has only one list of prohibited substances. These substances are prohibited at all times during the VADA program.
“It is not VADA’s role to adjudicate results. And VADA cannot force entities who receive notice of our adverse results to act on them.
“Fighters who enroll in VADA do so voluntarily.”
In part of their statement, VADA directly commented on “out of competition” failures, part of the Oscar Valdez defense.
“Local athletic commissions and the Association of Boxing Commissions can choose to follow their own prohibited list.
“But if they enforce little or no drug testing, then this adoption has no meaning. It’s just words.
“Vigilance concerning PED use is essential to fighter safety, which is our primary concern.
“VADA stands by its decision to maintain a single list of substances that are prohibited at all times instead of having a separate “out-of-competition” prohibited list.”
Valdez fights Robson Conceicao on Friday night unless someone eventually sees sense to cancel the main event.