Interview with Angel “Memo” Heredia: VADA, USADA, or maybe “NADA”
In a tweet on February 20, Yordenis Ugas’ strength and conditioning coach Angel “Memo” Heredia made the shocking claim that WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter hadn’t been tested by VADA for their March 9 bout.
This, if true, is problematic on several levels. First, considering Porter’s enrollment in the Clean Boxing Program, he should undergo random testing year round. Additionally, this is a WBC sanctioned bout. Therefore, both fighters should automatically be required to be randomly tested.
Furthermore, the fight is in the US so there should be no logistical issues with arranging tests. We at 3kingsboxing.com were able to interview Heredia regarding his concerns!
3Kings and Memo Heredia Interview Transcript
3Kings Boxing: “Is there a standard for how many tests per year for boxers in the Clean Boxer Program?”
Heredia: “Nope unfortunately, but there should be one increase efficiency on drug testing results and transparency to the public. So far they do a lousy job on the WBC Clean Program.”
3Kings Boxing: “Is there a standard for how many tests a fighter receives for a training camp?”
Heredia: “There should be one, but at this point it is very inconsistent and non aggressive unless boxers pay for it on a fight-per-fight basis. [It’s] still very weak with many loopholes that many boxers are taking advantage of.”
3Kings Boxing: “How many times has Ugas been tested?”
Heredia: “So far, only one time.”
3Kings Boxing: “How many times has Porter been tested?”
Heredia: “According to the WBC report, Porter has got no testing so far. Very illogical from a boxer who VADA registered and lives in Las Vegas same as his opponent Ugas. Why? Well, totally unacceptable, unethical, and definitely not WADA compliance for the international drug testing standard.”
Thoughts on Rampant PED Use
3Kings Boxing: “How widespread do you think PED use is in boxing?”
Heredia: “Doping in boxing is unfortunately widespread and growing. On the other hand, there are plenty of hard and clean working boxers up there. Those we got to care about.
“So having VADA is a good thing, but unfortunately they are not doing enough to minimize or stop doping from growing in the sport of boxing. Basically, testing in professional sports has become huge business and VADA has taken a forward step to it.
“But VADA forgot this important duty comes with responsibility and ethics practices. The fact that VADA lacks testing transparency, consistency, and professionalism, it questions VADA’s credibility. VADA should be fully investigated by the US government for their questionable ethics during recent events, in my opinion.
“Once again, I do not make the rules or enforce them; I just follow them. But drug testing should be fair and unbiased to ensure credibility to those important in the game of boxing.
“Most of my boxers have been registered under VADA and while in camps with them, not once have they ever been tested during practice or camp. So, why even have them registered under their Clean Program when the program is ineffective? Pretty much it works under the fear concept so by being registered boxers will assume they will get tested.”
Hopefully, both the WBC and VADA will clarify the concerns expressed by Heredia, as now VADA is considered the most reputable testing agency by most fans. For both the safety and integrity of the sport, a testing standard must be reached. While this is an expensive and difficult problem to tackle, it’s imperative that boxing gets this right.
Update March 8
There still has been no word on the testing situation of Porter. However, he entered the weigh-in for his title defense against Ugas nearly two pounds over the limit!
Given a buffer of two hours, he finally weighed-in at 146.8 pounds with minutes to spare!
Conducted By: Corey Cunningham