Liverpool heavyweight Tony Bellew has come out swinging verbally at the latest wave of failed drugs tests to hit the sport of boxing.
The problem has come to the surface more and more over the past couple of years – in particular in professional boxing – coinciding with the return of the sport to popularity in recent years.
Bans have been issued to offenders caught cheating but many have suggested that they are not strong enough and that life bans should be given due to the dangers in a sport like boxing anyway.
It’s not like in baseball where taking performance enhancing drugs might allow someone to hit a ball a little further, boxing involves two people hitting one another with the consequences and risks so, so much greater.
Indeed, Liverpool’s Tony Bellew believes the bans issued should be more severe. Speaking to BBC Sport, Bellew said:
“It disgusts me what’s going on in boxing.”
“Once someone fails for performance-enhancing drugs and it is steroids, if it’s proven without a shadow of a doubt they have been injecting steroids, ban the first guy for life. Once that first guy is banned for life, you will get the reaction you need.”
There are a number of procedures currently in place to catch drugs cheats in boxing but perhaps the testing should become a bit more random, and sophisticated in its nature.
This has obvious cost implications where a promoter of an event likely would have to pick up the bill for more sophisticated testing, on top of what is already provided for by the various Athletic Commissions and boxing boards.
Indeed, the UFC in the sport of MMA have largely funded much of the (extra) random out of competition testing their athletes are put through – in a bid to clean up their particular combat sport.