untung99.biz: Anthony Joshua calls for leading fighters to face random drug testing

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Anthony Joshua has expressed his frustration with boxing’s inability to tackle its doping crisis and called for radical change so that the leading fighters in the world are subject to random testing.

He was meant to fight Dillian Whyte in London on Saturday night but last Saturday it emerged that his British rival has returned a positive test result for a still unnamed illegal substance. Whyte said he was “shocked and devastated” to learn of the test’s findings, while stating his innocence in a social media post.

Joshua will now face Robert Helenius on Saturday, at the O2 Arena in London. Before a press conference to launch the hastily rearranged bout, the former world champion stressed there is a serious problem with doping in boxing.

Asked if he agreed with some world champions who estimate that around 60-70% of professionals could be involved in doping, Joshua underlined the need for random drug testing.

“I don’t understand how 60% to 70% of people can get away with doping if you get random drug tests? I get drug-tested all year round. Every quarter, I have to submit my whereabouts, where I’m going to be every day, at what hour of the day, so [drug-testers] can turn up randomly if they want.

“It’s been like that since 2011. I’ve submitted it every day of my life. So why am I under that pressure but 60% to 70% of other boxers aren’t?

“Once you sign up to a top-tier promoter they should all have that [approach to random testing] as part of the deal.”

Joshua used the example of Whyte’s positive test result to illustrate how doping affects the sport. “Look where we are now. We lost the fight and nearly lost the card because of this situation. So [pay] a small fee [to anti-doping agencies] to help the bigger picture.”

He said he had insisted on the rigorous Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) testing for himself and Whyte and now for Helenius as well. Joshua acknowledged that such exhaustive random testing procedures are costly. “It’s hard to test everyone, as there are so many fighters, but maybe the top 50 [should sign up]?”

Reflecting on his reaction to the news of Whyte’s failed test , Joshua said: “It happens in boxing. It’s not the first and won’t be the last, so I was not surprised.”

Anthony Joshua was not surprised by last weekend’s disruption that resulted in the scheduled fight being cancelled. Photograph: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing/Getty Images

Joshua has been accused of doping himself by Whyte and Jarrell Miller whom he was meant to fight in 2019 – until the American failed a Vada drug test a few weeks before that bout.

“I’ve been drug-tested since 2011, since those world championships, because of the Olympic system,” Joshua said. “It’s funny that the two people who have accused me have popped dirty themselves. I think my physique, or my rise in boxing, just doesn’t make sense to them. But sometimes it’s just natural, it’s God-gifted, and a lot of hard work as well.

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“I don’t wish Dillian any bad but his reputation is tarnished and I’m in a situation where a late replacement isn’t good for anyone.”

Helenius also highlighted the scourge of doping. “It’s a problem because I don’t think everybody’s on the same level,” he said. “Some people have privileges that others don’t have.

“Anti-doping should be the same in every country. In your country, when Dillian gets caught, everybody’s like: ‘Oh, OK, it’s boxing. Everybody’s [at it], nobody cares.’ In Finland, if I were caught I would be lynched for my whole life. I would never get a licence to box again. I would never be able to box in Finland.”

Asked if he felt disillusioned by so many boxers seeming to escape punishment for doping, Helenius said: “Yeah. Either they should legalise everything for everybody or then have the same standard for everybody.

“It feels I have a disadvantage. I don’t have the luxury [of taking performance-enhancing drugs] because they come to my home and test my blood and everything all the time. So it’s not fair.”

The 6ft 9in Helenius then shrugged and laughed. “My doping is that I have a really high level of Viking blood in me. So I don’t care. Use whatever you want.”