Former WBC cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew has been very vocal about boxing's ongoing problem with fighters using performance enhancing drugs.
Bellew believes the problem would be solved if the sport issued lifetime bans for a second offense - so it's no surprise that he believes heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz should be banned for life. In fact, he believes a fighter who blatantly dopes with hard steroids should get a lifetime ban on his first infection.
Earlier this month, headlines were flying all over the world when it was revealed that one of boxing's biggest names, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, had tested positive for traces of clenbuterol.
Canelo is deep in training for a highly anticipated rematch with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Their second fight is scheduled for May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
While Canelo tested positive in two separates tests that were taken n February, he tested clean in three separate tests taken in March.
Bellew is very frustrated with the way Canelo's positive tests have been handled. He believes the "major names" of the sport are protected at all costs.
And that's why, Bellew explains, that he delayed his response to the Canelo controversy - because he believes few people care.
"Canelo Alvarez has failed a drug test and it seems no one wants to talk about. But then, it always gets brushed under the rug when it’s a major name. It happened with Roy Jones Jr. When Roy Jones Jr was pound-for-pound king of the world, he failed a drug test and no one found out. I’m sick of saying it, but this is what’s wrong with boxing. I’ve heard this contaminated meat defence… it’s a good alibi, but Canelo would have to eat about five kilos of contaminated meat for that to happen," Bellew explained to Metro.
"Fans have been asking why I haven’t made a comment on Canelo. I haven’t made a comment because no one cares. What difference does it make? The organisations and governing bodies don’t care, and they certainly don’t care what I say. What is the point of me coming out and saying, ‘ban him for life’? No governing body has any desire to step up. Not Ukad, not the British Boxing Board of Control, not WADA – no one.
"The WBA and WBC have already decided Canelo is innocent. That seems unfair, doesn’t it? Canelo gets the full backing, but smaller fish are left to fry. They pick and choose which fighters to back. For me, a drugs cheat is a drugs cheat if there’s steroids in your system. It does my head in.
"Alvarez tested positive for a drug called clenbuterol. It’s a fat loss drug that adds to your muscle performance. It contributes to your power and it helps your performance. So it’s a performance-enhancing drug, no question. It’s a strange thing to fail for. There is also the suggestion clenbuterol can be used as a masking agent. There’s no doubt Canelo has a great alibi – contaminated meat he ate while training in Mexico. Do I believe it? I’m skeptical, just like I was when Lucas Browne failed a drug test. He failed a test the day after the fight against Ruslan Chagaev, but passed one two days before the fight.
"Someone needs to stand up and say, if you fail a test on our watch you’re not coming back to boxing. No ifs, no buts, it’s over. All these governing bodies piss in the same pot, once one hands down a ban, the rest will follow suit. This isn’t a hundred metre race, this is a sport where we punch each other in the head as hard as we can. If one guy has an illegal advantage over the other, it’s not only unfair, it’s dangerous."