The final deadline for enrollment into the WBC / VADA Clean Boxing Program is less than one week away. The set of measures, which is compulsory for the top-15 rated fighters in each division, requires “out of competition random testing” with “absolutely no cost to any fighter, manager or promoter.”
The Mexico City based sanctioning body developed the program in conjunction with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). It is aimed at making “boxing better and safer together,” according to a statement released by the WBC.
Further, the WBC has shown their commitment to full compliance by warning the 255 fighters that make up the top tier of their 17 recognized divisions that anyone failing to enroll in the program will be dropped from their rankings.
“A random generator will select eligible fighter to be tested throughout the year,” said WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman. “The WBC is responsible to follow the protocol whenever an adverse finding non compliance happens and each case will be treated independently through due process. A random generator will select eligible fighter to be tested throughout the year.
“If you are an eligible boxer and you have a problem we will help you,” continued Sulaiman in his official statement. “If you have concerns abut (sic) anything, we will solve it, but if you do not want to enroll for whatever reason then you will not be eligible to compete for the WBC and will have to be removed from the WBC ratings. Any fighter not registered by the deadline will lose its WBC status and will be removed from the rankings.”
While something could have simply been lost in the Spanish report’s conversion to the English language, it may be important to note that a more direct translation of the original statement from the WBC read, “If you are an eligible fighter and you have any type of problem with the formats, we can help you.”
All things considered, this is an exemplary, albeit long-overdue, move by the Mexico City based council in the wake of adverse drug results attached to some of its marquee fighters, namely Lucian Bute and Alexander Povetkin.
It begs the question, however, what happens when a top-tier boxer competes against an opponent that is ranked outside of the uppermost 15?
Case in point, the seventh ranked heavyweight is currently Andy Ruiz. This fall, the Mexican-American is scheduled to fight, none other than, 29th-ranked Hughie Fury on the Tyson Fury – Wladimir Klitschko undercard.
According to the rules of the WBC/VADA program, Ruiz may be subject to random testing while his opponent can train and fight without the same type of scrutiny from the council and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
“It’s the first phase,” said Sulaiman to Boxing News. “Fifteen plus the champion multiplied by 17 divisions. It’s a robust program to manage and control.”