Donaire And Rigondeaux Agree To Let VADA And USADA Test For PEDs

At the start of the press conference at B.B. King Blues Club at Times Square on Thursday, Junior featherweight boxers Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux agreed to have two separate anti-doping agencies conduct drug testing, leading up to their April 13 bout at Radio City Music Hall.

Donaire, the 2012 Fighter of the Year, said he would not fight Rigondeaux unless he agreed to sign a contract with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) to submit to testing for performance enhancing drugs. Rigondeaux and his representatives, on the other hand, said they would agree to testing, but only with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). However, both sides agreed to have both agencies (USADA and VADA) conduct test, with the results being forwarded to the boxers, the promoters, and the New York State Athletic Commission.

Melvina Lathan, the chairwoman of the NYSAC, said she is one the board with whatever contractual obligations both Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux agree upon with regards to drug testing and added that we have our own testing procedures pre-and-post fight and we also have the finest medical team in the country. She went on to add that there would be no problem pulling the plug on the match, if either boxer tests positive.

Boris Arencibia of Caribe Promotions, Rigondeaux’s promoter, said he has no problem with drug testing but he does not trust Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency as it has links to Victor Conte, the former head of BALCO. Meanwhile, Pedro Diaz, Rigondeaux’s trainer, said he respects the USADA and said the anti-doping agency conducts testing for Olympic athletes in the United States and it is also the testing agency that the best boxers in the sport, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto, uses. Diaz added that it is why we proposed to Nonito and his team that we can have USADA be a part of this testing.

However, this seems unlikely as it is still not clear if USADA and VADA would agree to such an arrangement. The announcement comes as news to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and a USADA spokeswoman said this is the first we ever heard about it. Irrespective of that, the commission would have the authority to cancel the fight if either boxer tests positive for banned substances if any of the agency alerts the New York State Athletic Commission of a positive result.

A few weeks back, Erik Morales and Danny Garcia agreed to be tested by USADA prior to their match at Barclays Center and Morales tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance. After this, the New York State Athletic Commission was notified of the positive result 24 hours in advance of the fight, but Morales and Garcia went ahead with their bout anyway. The two fighters agreed to have any adjudication process go through USADA by signing a contract with it. Morales and Garcia were still eligible to compete and the NYSAC allowed the fight to proceed as the legal process had not been completed by the time of their match. Thereafter, the United States Anti-Doping Agency wrote a letter to Morales and indicated that he will be banned for a period of two years if he does not contest the sanction.

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