Stephen Espinoza: “He Wasn’t Cleared!”
We are now almost a full two weeks since UKAD flagged Dillian “The Body Snatcher” for an adverse drug finding. The report surfaced that Whyte had traces of epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone in his system while in preparation for a significant fight with Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas.
These are two metabolites of the banned anabolic steroid Dianabol.
SHADY BACK DOOR DEALS
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) allowed Whyte to fight following a secret emergency meeting. After surviving a ninth round knockdown, the Body Snatcher won the match. With victory, he became the interim WBC heavyweight champion and the mandatory challenger to the regular WBC heavyweight title.
Outside of Team Whyte, UKAD and the BBBofC, no one knew anything about the drug scandal or the top secret meeting until the fight was over. Most notably, Team Rivas was in the dark regarding the failed test and the shadowy emergency hearing.
Since this information has come to light, UKAD and the BBBofC have remained deathly silent. Whyte has only released one cryptic tweet, which supplied zero relevant material. While Eddie Hearn has been the most vocal, he has offered no meaningful updates.
He has simply repeated the statement that Whyte was ‘cleared’ to fight. Although, Hearn has been meticulously careful not to specify what it was that the Body Snatcher was cleared of.
Throughout the boxing industry there is a near universal opinion that this whole situation is foul. At worst, the Whyte controversy is dripping with corruption, at best it’s rife with incompetence. Neither option is a good one.
NO ONE WAS CLEARED
In a recent interview conducted by AB Boxing News, Stephen Espinoza of SHOWTIME offered his candid opinion on the serious matter.
“Whatever happened in terms of clearing him, you know, it should be clear he wasn’t cleared. He was allowed to fight. There’s a big difference between being ‘cleared,’ you know. If you’re cleared, you’re not subject to suspension, you’re not subject to further investigation.
“There is a further investigation happening, that means he’s not cleared. So people need to stop using the word ‘clear’. Promoters need to stop using the word clear because he wasn’t cleared, he was permitted to fight on a technicality.”
The initial flagging resulted from Whyte’s A-sample coming up dirty. The B-sample, which would either fully condemn or potentially exonerate Whyte, has yet to be tested. Hence, per Espinoza’s statement, the investigation is still underway. On the outside looking in, this is a horrible situation no matter what angle you approach it from.
This was a hometown fight for Whyte so it certainly appears that he is receiving preferential treatment. There is no defensible reason for Team Rivas receiving this information. The entire notion of the one-sided, rushed and completely secret hearing stinks of controversy.
Not to mention, this would potentially go down as Whyte’s second offence of using PED’s. The Body Snatcher was flagged, and banned for two years, behind his use of Methylhexaneamine back in October of 2012.
THE NIGHTMARE ENDURES
Obviously, Team Whyte wishes this was simply a bad dream that they could wake from. However, this nasty debacle will not fade away into oblivion that easily. Furthermore, it appears that it’ll get a great deal worse before it gets any better.
“I think we all agree, all reasonable people agree that this procedure, this policy is flawed. If someone tests positive, they should not be fighting without the opponent knowing and making a choice […] part of the problem right now is people defending what happened, saying its okay because it’s not.”
By: Bakari Simpson