Steroids In Boxing

There have always been stories about the specter of steroids haunting around the boxing rings. Often, there are reports about professional boxers using steroids for getting success in the rings. Recently in Feb/March 2007, Evander Holyfield, a multiple-time world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion, was the boxer who was linked to a pharmacy in Alabama that is currently under investigation for distributing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

The Warrior Holyfield whose name appeared on the list of customers of pharmacy admitted that he was taking a drug from the pharmacy, but claimed that he was using the drug for a “hormonal problem” and he just took it for a brief period. Holyfield told that he never used steroids but was encouraged to do so in the 1980s, and also revealed that Mike Tyson was doing it.

Holyfield said, “Somebody high up in boxing mentioned to me that there was this other fighter who did steroids and I should too because it wasn’t illegal in boxing yet,” I said, ‘I’m not going to do that. I ain’t no cheater.’ I was the undisputed cruiserweight champion and I was in the Olympics. If I started taking steroids, people would say, ‘He cheated at everything.’ But this guy told me, ‘Well, Mike Tyson is doing it, you should, too. I said, ‘I don’t care if Tyson is doing it, I’m not.’ ”

Although boxing has never been center of discussions of sports and steroids, there have been many cases of steroids in boxing. On Dec. 2, 2006, Mariano Carrera was tested positive for the anabolic steroids (clenbuterol) following his World Boxing Association (WBA) junior middleweight title victory over Javier Castillejo in Berlin. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Orlando Salido, who outscored Robert Guerrero to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight belt in Las Vegas on Nov. 4, 2006, when nandrolone was detected in his postfight urinalysis. Carrera and Salido were stripped of their titles following the tests.

James Toney’s 2005 victory over WBA heavyweight titlist John Ruiz was quashed, after Toney was tested positive for nandrolone. Toney claimed that the steroids were given to him by a doctor to treat an injured arm suffered during his previous bout, against Rydell Booker.

Fernando Vargas was suspended for 9 months and fined $100,000 for testing positive for the steroid stanozolol following his defeat by Oscar De La Hoya in September 2002. Vargas claimed the steroids were given to him without his knowledge, but he accepted full responsibility.

Roy Jones Jr. and Richard Hall both tested positive for the testosterone precursor androstenedione after Jones defeated Hall to retain his undisputed world light heavyweight championship in Indianapolis in 2000. Jones insisted his test was the result of ingesting the supplement Ripped Fuel.

Frans Botha of South Africa was stripped of the IBF heavyweight title belt he won against Axel Schulz in 1995 after testing positive for steroids, which he and his camp claimed had been prescribed for treatment of an arm injury.

Leave a Comment