One of the most recognisable names in boxing today, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is no stranger to the consequences of illegal substance use.
That’s not to say, however, that he himself has ever chosen to break the most sacred of sporting laws.
No, Deontay Wilder is a pure, clean-cut athlete if ever there was one. A prime example of an honourable and deserving champion.
In fact, the WBC Heavyweight champion of the world has found himself in the rare situation of having two consecutive fights either placed in great jeopardy or cancelled outright due to his opponents testing positive for a banned substance.
An undeniably frustrating scenario for any champion looking to improve his record and maintain his relevance on the world stage.
Speaking to the Associated Press this week Wilder called for heavy punishment and bans from the sport for serious offenders.
In the minds of most boxing fans I have spoken to on the subject, the only appropriate punishment for those with a reputation for doping should be a permanent ban from the sport – a sentiment Wilder seems to share:
“They need to take their careers away from them because this is ridiculous.”
Ridiculous it is indeed.
He was also quick to praise the WBC, the body of which he is the current heavyweight champion, for their moves in tackling the apparent rise of dopers:
“I think the WBC is doing a fabulous job in bringing the doping program and having these fighters sign up for it and if they don’t they’re off the rankings. But I also would like to see it go into second gear.”
The WBC’s new doping policy first his the headlines in October of last year when former world champion Amir ‘King’ Khan failed to meet the set deadline for registration and was subsequently dropped from their rankings.
Despite at the time being the number one challenger to Danny Garcia’s WBC Welterweight strap.
Khan eventually signed on and apologised for missing the initial deadline.
Wilder is now set to face undefeated Gerald Washington as a replacement.
Considering this is his first fight back since undergoing surgery for numerous hand and biceps injuries sustained in his battle against Chris Arreola.
Here’s hoping one of boxing’s finest heavyweight ambassadors will be back to his ‘#BombSquad’ best.