Williams Camp Not Shocked With Botha Failing Test
As BoxingScene.com reported late Saturday night, former champion Francois Botha allegedly failed a drug test before his controversial fight with Sonny Bill Williams. The 44-year-old submitted a urine sample on Tuesday last week, the Sydney Morning Herald said, and the test revealed the presence of phentermine, a banned stimulant.
It also showed traces of benzodiazepine, a valium-type product. The drug test had been forwarded to the WBA's headquarters in Panama.
Australian National Boxing Federation committee member John Hogg cast doubts on the report, telling Australia's News Limited there were no compulsory drug tests required for boxers in Queensland.
He had never heard of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping team spot-testing fighters in the state.
"I would think I would have heard about ASADA testing Botha or Sonny Bill because they have never showed up to boxing gyms in Queensland or on fight night," Hogg told News Limited.
Witnesses who saw Botha in his dressing room before the fight told the Sydney Morning Herald he was relaxed and lying on the floor as Williams entered the ring first.
But when the fight got under way, he was alert and taunted Williams, while trying to put him off his game with a series of late shots.
Williams' manager Khoder Nasser told Firstline he wasn't surprised with the alleged revelation.
"I wasn't really surprised, because I couldn't believe someone had the fitness like that. He was still going after getting punched and bruised so badly and he was still standing."
A leading sports doctor told the Sydney Morning Herald that phentermine and benzodiazepine has opposing effects.
"One puts you to sleep, one keeps you awake. Phentermine is part of the go-fast group, as I call them, which is similar category to all of the adrenalin amphetamines ... anything that is a stimulant that keeps you awake and improves your reflexes."
This only adds to the controversy, as Botha claims the bout was cut short during the fight, going from twelve rounds to ten. Nasser said both camps knew the fight was intended for ten rounds, though that was contradicted by Williams in the build-up to the bout.