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August 13, 2013 – Mexico City.

From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:

The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From August 11, translated from Spanish:


By José Sulaimán

Drugs in Sports

The startling news of the week in Mexico focused around clenbuterol. It has been proven that in Mexico a sector of farmers are fattening their cattle with the drug, since it’s used for muscle development. It therefore makes cattle gain more weight, earning heavier purses.

Last year a group of players in the Mexican national team tested positive for the chemical, which surprised many. Until … it was discovered that it was contained in meat they had eaten. Now the problem arises again … and once more with soccer players. But many really don’t care about this.

The same happened with Erik Morales, a boxing hero, known for his greatness in the ring and his exemplary private life. Although testing conducted by USADA was negative in New York, the USADA punished him, because reports elsewhere had been positive. The WBC sent them to hell! The commission of New York and the WBC found him clean of drugs before and after the fight as well. Erik was absolutely innocent!

The meat of cattle containing clenbuterol exists in Mexico. The problem is so great that it would be almost impossible for the authorities to have a system to detect it in all the restaurants nationwide.

I myself could have clenbuterol in my system. However, sports organizations should initiate extensive work to find research methods about clenbuterol. Yes, Clenbuterol is a drug, but they are stuffing it in us by the mouthful, yet authorities say it is not influential?

Another huge problem is marijuana. Some American states are legalizing it, just as Paraguay did. I take this opportunity to express that in boxing, we have always regarded marijuana as a drug. Undoubtedly it influences the mind. The human being is different when this drug is ingested. I once witnessed a boxer, at the time of weighing, running naked into the street. He was stoned! Marijuana is prohibited in boxing.

It is important to differentiate an athlete that consumes any drug just to win. This is abominable and the athlete should be disqualified. But there are others that use the drug as a habit. They should not be abandoned. They should be helped to recuperate and regenerate, because they have an addiction problem and have succumbed to temptation. We have helped many boxers in the WBC overcome their addiction problems, and now they’re examples for the youth of the world – Carlos Zarate Sr. and Julio Cesar Chavez, among many others.

The crucial factor is to have available all research tools so there can always be justice concerning the athletes.

No one can doubt that generational change has hurt family values. In the past, drugs were the devil and were so considered by families. Now with drugs scandals every week and with the publicity about its legalization, young people have begun believing in them – that they are not the devil as children were told. It has increased consumption.

The new generation tramples on family values?

Our past was different, we had different customs. Speaking of drugs was a sin on family values? Now, what has become of those values? The invasion of drugs and the position of some governments to accept them has touched the minds of new generations.

Can we all come together to give back to all of our homes those values that filled us with pride in the past?

In boxing we are fighting for it … and we hope to win!

Thanks for reading my thoughts.

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