Here we go again. Manuel Charr is the latest name fighter to get busted for taking illegal stimulants, steroids in this case. According to a news story over on Yahoo! Sports, Charr, the reigning WBA “regular” champion at heavyweight, will be stripped of his belt and his scheduled September 29 defence against 45 year old Fres Oquendo is now off. Charr has tested positive for two anabolic steroids. German newspaper Bild reports how Charr testes positive for both epitrenbolone and drostanolone.
“These are both anabolic steroids. That is absolute hardcore doping,” doping exper Fritz Soergel told Bild. “In boxers, the emphasis is on increasing muscle strength.”
Charr, 33, said he is “shocked” over these developments and he insists he has “never taken anything.” Charr said to his fans that this whole situation will be “cleared up.” In reality, however, it’s already one big mess.
As fans may recall, a Charr-Oquendo fight has been supposed to happen for the longest time, with Oquendo going to court against the WBA to ensure his shot at the belt. Heaven knows what will happen now, with Charr set to be stripped. Who will Oquendo fight for the vacant strap, and when? Does anyone care ?
Charr has quite a backstory. “Diamond Boy” has survived being stabbed, and more recently he underwent serious operational procedures on both of his hips. Then, in November of last year, Charr fought his career best fight in defeating Alexander Ustinov to claim the belt he will now be stripped of. What a shame.
“The fight is shelved. In my opinion, the WBA will take the belt off Manuel,” Thomas Puetz, President of the German Professional Boxers Federation, stated. “Two substances were found in one of Manuel’s samples taken at a training camp on August 31, which have been on the banned list for some time.”
Aside from very likely being stripped it remains to be see what the full extent of Charr’s punishment will be.
Fight fans can easily be forgiven for forgetting just how many name fighters have tested positive for illegal stimulants over the past couple of years. Enough is clearly enough, but how to stop the problem, this is the big, big question.
As for Oquendo, it seems the Puerto Rican known as “Fast Fres” cannot catch a break. He was supposed to face Shannon Briggs for the vacant belt some months back, only for, yes, you got it, Briggs to fail a drugs test. It’s a real no-brainer to state how things have got way out of hand in this department.