It’s Time for Consistency: The WBC and Clenbuterol Offences
By Jack Thomas Davies
A little while ago, boxing superstar, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, was cleared of a positive test for clenbuterol. Steeped in speculation, the multi-weight world champion blamed the contaminated test on Mexico’s meat industry.
There has never been consistency with punishing failed drug tests and this is for several reasons. One could blame it on the fact that there are multiple sanctioning bodies and commissions, whereas others may look towards conspiracy in a world of silent bans and dirty brown envelopes to miss blame.
Regardless, although unrealistic, the boxing world would benefit from one singular anti-doping agency to carry out regular tests with consistent and stringent punishments. In the case of clenbuterol and it often being found in Mexican meat, in the last week top ranked boxers Rey Vargas and Julio Cesar Martinez were found to have failed tests for clenbuterol.
Not to have such a confusing and disastrous situation alike to Canelo, the WBC and WADA have introduced newer thresholds for detecting Clenbuterol in order to determine fighters who have failed tests for ingesting contaminated meat against knowingly taking the performance enhancing drug.
Although Canelo was eventually cleared, with this system there is more clarity. In any case, when it comes to any speculated tests, failed or not, accusations stick and fighters who are innocent need their name cleared sufficiently.
The fighters that test positive for Clenbuterol below the WADA’s new standard threshold will be given “proper nutrition education” by the WBC Clean Boxing Program. A step to be more careful outside of the ring, they will be encouraged to stop eating meat from certain vendors.
There are many questions to be asked of this new system, what happens if fighters start testing positive in high numbers for Clenbuterol at the lower threshold? Will the threshold remain where it is now, or will they lower it due to the increase of athletes testing positive for it?
Some may not be happy about this new standard as there truly is no entirely conclusive way of finding out how the substance gets into one’s system. In any case, in a year that seems to have been filled with failed tests in high-profile fights, a progression in the standards of testing is certainly welcome, however we need to be consistent.