Drugs have been around in the sport of boxing for some time – cheating has been around in all its unwelcome forms for decades. The latest wave of high profile outings within the sport are merely the latest in a lengthy wrap sheet of highly regrettable & unsavory transgressions.
The need for uniform regulations governing doping in the sport is I’d argue more pressing & urgent than in the vast majority of other sporting disciplines. If someone dopes in the 100 metres at the Olympics & wins gold & gets away with it – the dreams of the otherwise rightful (clean) victor have been stolen – in boxing we could be looking at the terminal diminishing of skills or even the death of the wronged participant.
Boxing has overcome formidable odds in the past – this is, let us not forget, the sport that was once universally tainted with the stench of accusations of organized crime or mob fixing of major bouts. The participant driven insistence on World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) testing protocols can only be welcomed – whomever you happen to support – Floyd Mayweather‘s crusade to “clean up the sport of boxing” whilst obnoxiously loud & doubtlessly self-enriching is nevertheless a welcome development & one the sanctioning bodies would do well to embrace & indeed expand to lower reaches of the sport.
This then becomes my primary concern – if world class fighters competing in multi-million dollar promotions show a willingness to roll the proverbial dice in the face of iffy testing regimes at the highest reaches of the sport – what chance do honest competitors have of a) enjoying fair competition & b) having their long term health safeguarded appropriately by the drug testing of fighters they face in the lower reaches of the professional game?
One of boxing’s key hallmarks as I see it is its perception to the mainstream sports entertainment landscape as an honest endeavor - that is victory is inevitably the product of self-sacrifice – in training & pivot-ally in blows sustained in the quest for victory. There is something honorable about a victory that is the result of sustaining punishment – anything that threatens to impinge on that key differential trait in the public’s consciousness is a threat to the long term vitality of the sport itself.
Matt Hamilton, for ESNewsReporting!
Drugs are bad, mkay!