Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says Oscar Valdez didn’t break any law when he tested positive for the VADA banned substance last August because it’s permitted to be used outside of competition. What’s considered in competition is one day before the fight.
Although VADA has phentermine as one of their banned substances, Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) was going by the WADA drug testing companies rules for his fight with Robson Conceicao last Friday.
According to Arum, the substance Valdez tested positive for is allowed outside of competition with WADA. As such, Valdez could have used the banned substance up to the day before the fight, and he would have been fine.
It’s unclear why WADA doesn’t include phentermine on their list of banned substances the way VADA does.
Arum says maybe they should have this substance banned in and outside of competition. As long the commission will be using WADA instead of VADA, phentermine is fine to use.
Does this mean that Top Rank fighters will be using WADA from now on rather than VADA? That’ll make things interesting, especially for non-Top Rank fighters if they feel what they could be up against in facing their fighters.
Phentermine banned only in competition
“It’s not a question of vindication. It’s not a question of anything. It’s a question of the law. These boxing commissions have signed off to WADA just like the Olympics have and just like with most sports, and that means there are substances that are banned only in competition,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV on Valdez’s positive test for phentermine.
“This is a substance that was only banned in competition,” Arum continued about the phentermine that Oscar Valdez tested positive for. “So nobody had any maneuverability legally to prevent him from fighting.
“This is all something that has been blown out of all proportions by the media. Maybe there’s an argument that this substance should be banned in and out of competition, but that’s a different story. That’s not what the law is now,” said Arum.
Why is only one day between in competition and outside of competition?
For a substance that assists in weight loss like phentermine, you’d like to think that it would be at least a two-month period before a fight where it would be prohibited.
Arum: ‘Oscar did nothing wrong’
“People have to respect the law, and the law is this substance is okay outside of competition, which means the day before and the day after – period end of story,” said Arum. “Everything else is just noise.
“The fighter has to have a good promoter where in this instance the law is on his going to stand up and tell people what the law is. Oscar Valdez did nothing wrong. Even if he, which I don’t believe, consciously took this substance out of competition, he was breaking no law—period end of story.
“Boxing is back. The only thing I can hope is that the pandemic is behind us worldwide because I sure as hell miss doing these fights in Macau, China, and Japan. Hopefully, it’ll be over sooner than later,” said Arum.
Technically, Arum is right about Valdez doing nothing wrong with testing positive for phentermine because it was outside of competition. The real question is, why did Valdez sign up for VADA testing for the fight if he was going to follow WADA instead of them?
The other thing is, why didn’t Valdez admit that he was using phentermine outside of competition? If it’s considered a non-banned substance with WADA, why didn’t Valdez tell the media that he was following them, not VADA?