Lemieux Is Doing VADA Testing, Saunders Isn’t For Saturday Bout

Here’s one for the “I like a level playing field” crew…

VADA has been testing David Lemieux, the Canadian power puncher, a middleweight who will try and snag the WBO middeweight belt off Billy Joe Saunders Saturday night in Montreal, in a contest which will also run on HBO.

Lemieux is on a solid run, having won four straight since giving a more than decent account of himself against a peak or near peak Gennady Golovkin, in October 2015. Glen Tapia, Cristian Rios and Curtis Stevens go stopped, Stevens in filthy fashion, in March. The 28 year old with a 38-3 (33 KOs) mark, promoted with Golden Boy along with Eye of the Tiger’s Camille Estephan, last gloved up in May and got a UD10 over Marcos Reyes. Saunders is no bomber, but he’s slick and quick, and very focused on not getting hit, so Lemieux will have to press hard and work dillgently to detonate a head rattler.

Saunders, a Brit Traveller, has many folks who don’t care for some of his antics and mouth, it also must be said.

I asked Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy what the testing deal is for this Saturday clash.

“VADA for Lemieux,” Gomez said. “The UK Anti-Doping organization for Saunders.” That is the outfit which employs Blood Collection Offiers to get samples, which need to comply with the International Standards for Testing and Investigatons.

From what I know, with my not unlimited knowledge of this whole specialized area, VADA..

…is more severe, more strict, than the UKAD…

…panel is.

For instance,  VADA does “IRMS” on every collection to identify synthetic testosterone use and national anti doping organizations don’t do that routinely.  IRMS is a test to pick up TRT/synthetic testosterone use, even if an athlete has a normal testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. It is costly but super effective.

As always, this issue needs to be pushed by media, and fans who feel that competition should be clean need to follow these stories, and ask that strict testing be the norm for fighters, who could use their illegal edge to a deadly level.

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Michael Woods
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Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; is my site