A penalty of two years off is just not good enough – the use of steroids in sport is cheating, but in boxing it can have fatal consequences
By Barry McGuigan:
So Kid Galahad is to fight his two-year ban for testing positive for steroids. If it were up to me he would be appealing against a lifetime ban.
That is not to dismiss his account of how he came to have an illegal substance in his body. He says his brother, now serving time, spiked a drink in a row over money.
If that is the case it’s a great pity for him, but steroids in boxing is a very serious issue.
A penalty of two years off is just not good enough.
The use of steroids in sport is cheating, pure and simple, but in boxing it can have fatal consequences.
In athletics runners can run faster, shot putters throw further. When you are jumping you can go higher and longer.
Cyclists can go up hills quicker and ride for longer but they don’t run each other over cliffs. They don’t break somebody’s neck or put them in a coma and kill them. That’s the difference in boxing.
If an opponent starts to tire, lets his hands drop and the other guy piles forward enhanced by illegal drugs then you are in a potentially fatal situation.
Boxers taking steroids might as well be putting their fists in concrete. That’s why we should have a zero tolerance attitude to performance-enhancing drugs.
Thankfully testing is extensive. The sport has got that bit right. I would argue that my fighter, Carl Frampton, has been tested more than any other athlete in boxing.
Maybe he is targeted because he is so powerful and a solid ball of muscle.
He has been woken at six in the morning to give urine and blood samples. And that process can be pretty involved.
These people sit with you beforehand, even go into the toilet with you. It can be invasive, and you are not just asked to pass water.
Offenders find all sorts of places to hide clean samples. I’ll leave you to work out where, and how the testers might find them.
But we adhere to that gladly. It is how it should be because we could be talking the difference between life and death.
Two-year bans don’t come close to recognising the dangers.
Galahad follows Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto, James Toney, Roy Jones Jnr and Fernando Vargas, to name just a few who have tested positive in recent times.
All resumed their careers, which sends entirely the wrong message.
Sorry Kid, I wish you well with the appeal, but it’s time to get tough on drug cheats.