One of the big topics for 2012 in all combat sports has been the use of performance enhancing drugs. From a seemingly increasing number of failed tests, to the establishment of VADA, 2012 has been a year where this issue has in many ways taken center stage, both in MMA and in boxing.
HBO boxing announcer Jim Lampley recently discussed the issue in very open terms on the latest episode of his boxing analysis show The Fight Game. On that show, Lampley repeatedly brought up the issue of PED’s in boxing, naming Margaret Goodman person of the year for her work as the founder of VADA and Nonito Donaire fighter of the year largely for his willingness to submit to VADA testing at any time. He also called into question Juan Manuel Marquez, noting the questions surrounding his physique for the recent Manny Pacquiao fight.
But Lampley’s most pointed comments came when discussing the future of boxing if this continues to be an issue (transcription via Fight Opinion):
It’s no secret why boxing finds it so difficult to face up squarely and directly to its creeping problem with performance enhancing drugs. Other sports have been flagrantly guilty of that too, even though no other sport pays such a high price for a positive test. Only here does a single positive bring down an entire event, in the case of both Khan-Peterson and Ortiz-Berto earlier this year, a seven-figure event with a television date and advance publicity. But that in no way relieves the responsibility this sprawling, largely ungoverned enterprise has to protect itself and its participants from unwarranted mayhem. As the late Emanuel Steward observed, people aren’t hitting baseballs here; they are hitting each other in the head. Whatever is the worst thing that can happen as the result of boxers employing modern medical science to strengthen their bodies, it hasn’t happened yet. But if nothing is done to further strengthen testing standards and applications, it surely will. And when it does, we won’t be complaining anymore that boxing can’t find its way into mainstream media. We’ll be there in a big way, and in no way to our credit.
Lampley is specifically looking at boxing, but his arguments can equally be applied to MMA.
What do you think BE readers – is Lampley just engaging in sensationalism here, or is there a serious threat to our sport because of PED use?
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