Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > DeGale: We’re Risking Our Lives; PED Epidemic in Boxing Must Stop
January 5, 2017
DeGale: We’re Risking Our Lives; PED Epidemic in Boxing Must Stop
Image result for James DeGale James DeGale admits he once was naïve to how prevalent performance-enhancing drug use is in boxing. Now, however, DeGale doesn’t want to participate in a fight unless he knows his opponent is clean. The IBF super middleweight champion demanded Olympic-style drug testing for his 168-pound championship unification fight against Badou Jack on January 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime). The issue became particularly important to him once former super middleweight champ Lucian Bute tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine around the time of his majority draw with Jack on April 30 in Washington, D.C. DeGale told BoxingScene.com he suspects Bute took a PED prior to their November 2015 fight as well. The 30-year-old DeGale gets tested regularly by UK Anti-Doping, which tests on behalf of the British Boxing Board of Control. “For this fight, the Badou Jack fight,” DeGale said, “I’ve been tested five times in three weeks already because you’ve got Olympic-style drug testing happening. I’ve actually signed up so that 365 days a year, I have to give one hour of my time every single day of the year, just in case they come and drug test me. So my spot is 7 o’clock in the morning. So 365 days a year, they can knock at my door every day, every morning at 7 o’clock.” This sacrifice isn’t one DeGale minds making. He also hopes regulatory agencies elsewhere will follow the United Kingdom’s lead on testing for PEDs. “This is what the sport needs,” DeGale said. “I was in denial with people taking performance-enhancing drugs or whatever. But it’s rife. In the last year or so, it’s come out that a lot of fighters have taken performance-enhancing drugs. We’re risking our lives in there, and if someone is enhancing their power, speed or whatever, it’s not fair and it’s not right.” Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs), a native of Sweden who resides in Las Vegas, also demanded PED testing for his fight against DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs). The WBC world super middleweight champion has been tested regularly by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). The WBC runs the “Clean Boxing Program” in conjunction with VADA. “I actually think Al Haymon paid for the Olympic-style drug testing because we both ordered it,” DeGale said. “So I’m happy with that. That’s what I want. ” Unfortunately, DeGale thinks the sport is a long way from becoming as clean as possible because it lacks consistent requirements for PED testing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. “Some of the stories you hear,” DeGale said, “like different, well-known fighters that people say are on it, it’s crazy. It’s not right, but it has to stop.” See more at: http://www.boxingscene.com/degale-we-are-risking-our-lives-ped-epidemic-boxing-stop–112340#sthash.jSPnkxdg.dpuf