David Price calls for stricter drugs testing in boxing

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
Price wants to fight a Klitschko

British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price has called on boxing's governing bodies to do more in the battle against drugs.

A string of high-profile boxers have tested positive for banned substances in 2012, including Lamont Peterson, who beat Amir Khan last December.

Price says the British Boxing Board of Control should increase the number of random blood tests it carries out.

"I haven't been randomly tested since I turned pro," Price told BBC Sport.

"Not once in three-and-a-half years. I have had urine tests before title fights, but I'd like to see more random blood testing.

"I know expense is an issue, but more could be done, especially in light of what happened with Larry Olubamiwo.

"He was taking every drug under the sun and that could have ended up in disastrous consequences for someone, given the nature of the sport."

In June, London heavyweight Olubamiwo was banned for four yearsexternal-link for multiple anti-doping violations.

Olubamiwo tested positive for the blood-boosting substance EPO, which was also used by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, following a bout with Sam Sexton in January.

The 33-year-old later admitted to using 13 banned substances, including human growth hormone and anabolic steroids, over a six-year period competing as an amateur and professional boxer.

BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith said the programme of testing the board has in place is "adequate at the present time".

"We have 850 boxers and over the last two or three years we've done almost 200 out-of-competition tests," Smith told BBC Sport.

"We test every single championship contest, we test randomly on undercard fights and if we hear anything, obviously, we will go and test people.

"We had two positive tests this year connected to supplements, which is a problem because of people's naivety, and we had two connected to steroid abuse.

"UK Anti-Doping do all our tests and we have a programme in place for out-of-competition testing, which works very well. They pick and choose who they want to do."

Smith did concede that, while the board introduced random blood testing this year, cost ruled against wider testing.

He said: "Random blood testing came in this year. But don't forget this costs money as well. That's not a reason for not doing it, but there is a dividing line for any governing body.

"It's not just dope testing we have to look after; there are many other things that have to be funded.

"If we had a spate of positive tests, we would have to ask ourselves if we weren't doing enough, but we're doing what we can at the present time.

"And it's good that people are getting caught because it shows we're doing something about it."

Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone shortly before his proposed rematch with Khan in May.

He was stripped of his World Boxing Association belt, but the International Boxing Federation cleared the American of using drugs to enhance his performance.

As well as Peterson and Olubamiwo, former world champions Antonio Tarver,external-linkAndre Bertoexternal-link and Julio Cesar Chavez Jrexternal-link tested positive for drugs in 2012.

Price added: "It makes you think, is it just the tip of the iceberg? That's why I would welcome more stringent testing, to clear the sport of cheats if they are out there."