Bravo, Andre Ward
By Michael Woods
We fightwriters and indeed all media get slammed for being overwhelmingly negative.
If it bleeds, it leads, we know and too much adhere to.
We aren't as good at giving props.
So, here goes; props to Andre Ward for doing stringent PED testing ahead of his March 26 fight with Sullivan Barrera, in Oakland, and on HBO.
Ward and Barrera are getting samples taken and examined by VADA, the Voluntary Anti Doping Association.
Dr. Margaret Goodman heads up the organization, so I asked her for an assessment of the Ward choice to do testing.
“Any fighter who stands up for clean sport has to be commended–especially for a stringent program like VADA,” the Las Vegas based physician told me. “I don't think that most casual boxing fans are aware that still today few fighters have access to medical care like MRIs or neurological exams, let alone participate in PED testing. I could go on and on about what this says about our sport, but the bottom line is the inherent dangers can't be ignored. And fighters running to testing–as opposed to many professional sports where the athletes negotiate strict rules on when and for what they can be tested, should be heralded.”
“I have always been a huge proponent of year-round eligibility for testing,” she continued. “That is something the WBC is working on and developing, but it takes time. With that said, fighters entering into advanced unannounced PED testing leading up to their fight when it's not required, or even suggested by commissions, says a great deal about their character and commitment to participate clean and fight fair.”
Now, if we can only get a year round testing regimen cooking then we will have even more grounds for positivity.