ONE has to admire the singular commitment of World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman to ensure that boxing is a clean sport and that its integrity is maintained.
The WBC president, together with the renowned Dr. Margaret Goodman, president of the Voluntary Anti Doping Association, who officially announced the “Clean Boxing Program” last May 5 in Las Vegas, has stood firm in making sure that boxers, who failed to participate in the enrollment program, have been removed from the WBC ratings.
Under the agreement, all WBC champions and Top 15-ranked contenders have to mandatorily enroll in the program, with the random out of competition testing administered by VADA.
We find it difficult to understand if not comprehend why the other leading pro boxing organizations have not joined the WBC in this worthy endeavor.
What are World Boxing Organization president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, World Boxing Association president Gilberto Mendoza and International Boxing Federation president Darryl Peoples waiting for?
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports has grown as evidenced by the number of athletes found guilty of taking prohibited drugs, who have been penalized by the International Olympic Committee.
In fact, to be honest, some of the boxers who failed to enroll in the random drug testing program and have been listed by the WBC, raised our suspicions by their performances in fights, where they somehow seemed to grow in strength as their fights wore on and exhibited the kind of power and aggressiveness that were non-existent in the earlier rounds of their fights.
Here is the list of boxers who did not enroll so you would know and could draw your own conclusions.
David Haye–England–Heavyweight; Jean Pascal–Canada–Light Heavyweight; Jose Uzcategui–Venezuela–Super Middleweight; Gabriel Rosado –USA–Middleweight; Vanes Martirosyan–Armenia–Super Welterweight; Daquan Arnett– USA–Super Welterweight; Amir Khan–England–Welterweight; Lamont Peterson–USA–Welterweight; Rances Barthelemy– Cub –Super Lightweight; Felix Verdejo–Puerto Rico–Lightweight; Emiliano Marsili–Italy–Lightweight; Henry Lundy–USA– Lightweight; Yuriorkis Gamboa –Cuba–Super Featherweight; Hairon Socarras–Cuba–Featherweight; Cesar Juarez–Mexico –Super Bantamweight; Edivaldo Ortega–Mexico–Super Bantamweight; Emanuel Navarrete–Mexico–Bantamweight; Gideon Buthelezi–South Africa– Flyweight; Brian Viloria–USA –Flyweight; Moises Calleros– Mexico–Light Flyweight; Javier Mendoza–Mexico–Flyweight; Angel Acosta–Puerto Rico–Light Flyweight; Janiel Rivera–Puerto Rico–Minimumweight; Carlos Buitrago–Nicaragua–Minimumweight; Simphiwe Khonco– South Africa–Minimumweight.
The WBC announced that the enrollment process was also extended as the ratings for October are being released, and those fighters who did not enroll have been taken out of the WBC ratings.
The WBC itself deservedly paid tribute to the leadership of Luis Escalona and Margaret Goodman which, quite honestly, has been exemplary and while there have been some problems, mostly with translation and language barriers, there will certainly be adjustments during the process.
As the WBC has stated: “There will be additional adjustments, and this will be an evolving program with the goal to provide as much protection to our athletes worldwide.”
The WBC added: “Within 15 days of publication of the monthly ratings, any boxer entering the top 15 must directly or through his management or promoter, through an authorized representative of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program must fulfill all mandatory requirements to enter the CBP. The boxer must enroll in the program, or he shall be removed from the ratings and be unavailable to fight for any WBC-affiliated title until such time as he properly enroll.”
Any party wishing to address any specific case will be able to do so through the proper channels by communicating in writing to Luis Escalona at firstname.lastname@example.org, and WBC Legal Counsel Alberto Leon at email@example.com.”
President Sulaiman stated: “The WBC is proud of its champions and challengers who have taken a step forward in this historic process to keep our sport clean and most importantly to look out for the health of our athletes and the integrity and honorability of our sport.”
We who have covered the sport for some 50 years commend WBC president Sulaiman and Dr. Goodman of VADA for their most welcome initiative and wish them all the very best in their pursuit of a noble endeavor.