McCline and Peter Will Fight Despite Allegations

By Matthew Hurley: The New York State Athletic Commission made the correct decision in allowing the Jameel McCline versus Samuel Peter WBC interim title bout at Madison Square Garden to proceed tonight. The bout seemed in jeopardy when the Daily News reported that McCline had received in excess of $12,000 worth of illegal steroids and growth hormones between 2005 and 2006. However McCline has never tested positive for any illegal substance so the allegations remained just that..

According to New York State Athletic Commission chairman Ron Scott Stevens, “Everything is OK. The fight will proceed.”

McCline took his preflight physical on Thursday and both boxers will be tested for performance enhancing drugs and anything else illegal under the boxing rules commission through urinalysis tests an hour before the fight and then immediately after the bout. The tests results generally take about five days.

The investigation into the allegations against McCline will continue in the days and weeks after the bout. This most recent black eye for boxing, should it be true, has actually spread to an all inclusive sports related bruise with the shadow of steroid abuse hanging over all the major sports. The idea that an athlete of superior size and ability has now become something of a liability for many athletes because disheartened fans are now either willing to point an accusatory finger at said athlete or simply shrug their shoulders and just assume that the athlete is juicing. This has become the case ever since the testimony of several baseball players before congress on the issue, including a finger waving Rafael Palmeiro, who later tested positive, and admitted steroid abuser Jose Canseco.

The idea of steroids will probably linger in the Garden when the six foot eight two hundred and sixty pound McCline enters the ring. But once the bell rings all of that will be forgotten. At least until the final bell is rung.

Stevens summed up this latest potential debacle, “At this point, it is an investigation. It hasn’t risen to a level beyond that.” Stevens also remarked that, “McCline did test ‘clean’ in New York before and after his November 13, 2004, split decision loss to Chris Byrd.”

Article posted on 05.10.2007

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