Billy Joe Saunders: ‘If somebody dies at the hands of a drug cheat – it’s murder’

Billy Joe Saunders
Action Images/Peter Cziborra
Billy Joe Saunders wonders what it will take for the authorities to tackle cheating in boxing, writes John Dennen

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is concerned. He doesn’t believe the authorities will take serious action against performance enhancing drugs in boxing, until someone dies at the hands of a drug cheat.

“I personally think that’s right. The only time something’s going to be morally done is when someone passes away in the ring, and his opponent is proved to have taken PEDs,” he said.

Saunders added, “If somebody dies at the hands of a drug cheat it is murder, 100 per cent.

“They’ve all got kids and families to go home to.”

He’s particularly alarmed at Canelo Alvarez only receiving a six month suspension from competition after testing positive for traces of clenbuterol. “I think it’s diabolical, absolutely atrocious for someone to get banned for [just] six months, of his stature. There was a perfect [opportunity] for the boxing world to make an example of a drugs cheat. You couldn’t have had a higher calibre of opponent in boxing to make an example of – and they clearly didn’t. So they had their chance, and they didn’t, so I can’t see them doing much more,” Saunders said.

Billy Joe Saunders

He added bitterly, “So let everybody do it and that way we can all ‘kill’ each other and it’s fair then.”

He’s convinced he’s had to box drugs cheats himself. “Listen, I know one million per cent I’ve boxed someone before who was on PEDs,” Billy Joe said.

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