By Steve Kim
As heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Luis Ortiz prepare for their December 19th clash at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, they will come into the ring having gone through the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing program.
Based on Ortiz's history, where he tested positive for steroids after his first round stoppage of Lateef Kayode last year, Jennings' promoter Gary Shaw believed it was important to implement more stringent drug screening for this fight.
According to the veteran promoter, Golden Boy Promotions was on board with this recommendation.
"I didn't have to push them, I said,'we need to do drug testing by VADA,' and they agreed. So there was really no pushing or very much discussions other than that. I told Jennings to be ready and I know he's been tested several times at a minimum," said Shaw, who believes VADA testing should be more prevelant in the sport.
"I don't know why more of the commissions don't band together and drug test everyone. I believe everyone should be drug-tested - or at least every pro that is going into any type of meaningful fight and twelve round fights, whether it be special attractions or world title fights - for PEDs and other tests as well. VADA does a very good job but we need to get behind it. Our sport compared to the others is a joke."
The question becomes who would finance such a wide-spread drug testing program?
Shaw's recommednds,"a three-way partnership between the promoter, the sanctioning body and the commissions. And if we do it in bulk, first of all, the prices would come down dramatically."
Regardless, Shaw believes this issue is paramount moving forward given the nature of the sport and what's at stake.
"I do think drug testing is that important. Anyone who doesn't think there's drug abuse in boxing then they're living on the moon."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.