By David "Los Gatos" Rosenberg
In the aftermath of his loss to Victor Ortiz back in April, Andre Berto wasn’t shy about expressing his thoughts. The former welterweight champ suggested, through several twitter posts, that Ortiz had been able to withstand his punches and fight with such energy because he was taking performance enhancing drugs.
Now, it seems that Berto isn’t concerned with opening himself up to such allegations with the recent addition of Victor Conte to his training team. Conte, of course, is the notorious founder of BALCO who pleaded guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering in one of the biggest drug scandals to hit sports.
Conte has become kind of a curious figure these days. After serving time in federal prison, he’s gone legit and is trying to rebuild his reputation by helping pro athletes again with advice on legal nutritional supplements, including a number of fighters. Berto is the latest. In a conference call on Thursday to hype his Sept. 3 showdown with IBF welterweight champ, Jan Zaveck, Berto happily discussed his association with Conte, and how he’s helping him prepare for the fight in Biloxi.
“It’s just about getting my nutrition right,” Berto said on what role Conte is playing in his camp. “Before, I didn’t do much with nutrition. I just trained hard, but the nutritional aspect is so important with protein shakes and vitamins, and [without a focus on nutrition] it started taking a toll after a while.”
Berto said that he discovered he was anemic after undergoing blood testing under Conte after the narrow loss to Ortiz, and blamed his penchant for getting tired late in fights on the condition.
Since working with Conte, “I feel great,” Berto said. “I feel the difference when it comes to training. I do a lot of sprint training, and condition wise, I feel great. I feel stupid that I was behind the curve when it came to this kind of stuff and a little old fashion.”
Berto dismissed Conte’s troublesome past and the fear that some may associate him with performance enhancing drugs now that he’s brought Conte into the fold.
“He’s had a rough past but I know everything he’s done [with me] is legal,” Berto said.
How does he know?
“If someone is sticking a needle in your ass, you know that something is different,” Berto said. “I know that what I’m doing is legit. No one’s sticking a needle in my ass.”