Former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew has been a very outspoken critic of boxers who are caught using performance enhancing drugs.
In fact, Bellew had recently called for fighters like Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin to receive lifetime bans for their failed drug tests.
On the other hand, he believes that boxers who used over the counter items - which unknowingly had a banned substance - should get a pass from facing such a harsh penalty.
He does not view fighters like Billy Joe Saunders and Dillian Whyte as drug cheats.
Saunders recently tested positive for a banned substance, oxilofrine, that he claims came from a nasal spray - and several years ago Whyte tested positive for a banned substance after ingesting a workout recovery drink, which the boxer purchased at a local store for nutritional items.
“If you’re talking about fighters who have taken over-the-counter products like Billy Joe or Dillian Whyte, I’ve got an enormous amount of sympathy for them. I don’t class Whyte as a steroid cheat because he drank a drink he got over the counter. If it’s proven that Saunders sniffed a nasal spray, I believe the person who gave it to him knew,” said Bellew to Nick Parkinson.
“Billy would never have taken a steroid. I know that because I have spent a lot of time around Billy Joe. Luis Ortiz is a banned steroid cheat [nandrolone in 2017]. Alexander Povetkin twice tested positive for meldonium and ostarine in 2016, and is a cheating scumbag. Guys who inject steroids into themselves, there’s no condoning that. If a guy smokes a spliff, OK it’s wrong, he’s out of order but he’s not putting anyone in danger. But it’s these bulls****ers who are taking performance-enhancing drugs who are at a different level.
“Billy Joe can’t even spell oxilofrine,” joked Bellew as he continued his passionate defence of his fellow British fighter. He doesn’t know what that is but I’m pretty sure everyone in boxing knows who gave him it. I’m pretty sure they know why he was given it. He did not know that. Whoever gave it him needs banning. Billy Joe Saunders has not taken a performance-enhancing drug injected into him like Ortiz, like Povetkin. Billy hasn’t done that. I know Billy is no cheat.”