Doping test threat packs the punch

Some boxers reacted with fear when Boxing SA provincial manager Phakamile Jacobs informed them there would be doping officials at yesterday and tomorrow’s boxing tournaments.

Last night, XPE organised the Mandela Boxing Show at the East London International Convention Centre (ICC) while tomorrow, it will be Rumble Africa’s turn when it hosts three national title bouts at the Orient Theatre.

The boxers’ fear follows Aphiwe Mboyiya failing a doping test recently.

Mboyiya is yet to be punished for the transgression with some already predicting a lengthy ban.

And with the winter circumcision season still in progress, boxers often indulge in dagga smoking, increasing the danger of them falling prey to doping agents.

Dagga is one of the substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) whose national federation, the SA Institute for Drug Free Sports (Saids), has since resumed doping testing in boxing tournaments with aplomb.

Jacobs warned boxers to subject themselves to the doping officials after they were seen flatly refusing to be tested in several incidents after their bouts.

“We know that some even run for dear life when they realise that doping officials are present,” Jacobs said.

“But we want to warn them that they will face a stiffer punishment if they do not cooperate.”

Jacobs was referring to one boxer who ran for dear life when he was called to supply his urine sample.

The boxer, who cannot be named, was later hauled into a disciplinary hearing by BSA where he pleaded guilty with a flimsy explanation that he was rushing home to cook for his sick grandmother.

On Jacobs’s mention of the presence of doping officials, some trainers were heard mumbling, fearing for their boxers.

“These boys like to smoke dagga while looking after initiates in circumcision schools,” one of them was overheard saying.

“Dagga smoking is part of the tradition in circumcision schools and boxers often act as traditional nurses, so it goes without saying that they get absorbed into this habit. Even if they do not smoke dagga themselves, due to inhilation, they get affected and the traces of the herb gets detected in their urine samples.”

Jacobs admitted “dagga stays in the system for up to six weeks after smoking it”.

BSA recently held a seminar where, among others things, they warned against the consumption of banned substances.

Some trainers have pleaded ignorance of the substances often ingested by boxers with others claiming their clients are prone to influences by fans.

Mboyiya reportedly told his handlers he was given the substance by a fan when he struggled with weight ahead of his fight against Sibusiso Zingange at the Orient Theatre three months ago.

He faces a maximum four-year ban if he is found guilty.

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