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Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Holds Barred: Victor Conte on Doping, Boxing, and MMA 

On this audio edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Victor Conte.
Formerly at the center of the BALCO doping scandal, and after having served four months in prison in 2005 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering, he now says that he has returned to helping train athletes the right and legal way. He presently runs SNAC, Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning.
In addition, he has been involved in the training of a number of top boxers and mixed martial arts fighters. Among those is IBF 140-pound champion Zab Judah, who fights WBA champion Amir Khan in Las Vegas this Saturday night, July 23.
We spoke by phone with Victor Conte Wednesday night about his training of Zab Judah and why he believes that the 33-year-old Judah, a former junior welterweight and welterweight champion who has returned to his original weight class, will defeat the 24-year-old Khan. We of course discussed the issue of doping, and he criticized the present anti-doping procedures carried out by North American athletic commissions for boxing and MMA as "worthless". We discussed the Mayweather-Pacquiao controversy over what drug-testing such a proposed fight should have. He also described doping in MMA as "rampant". He called for much more scrutiny on the issue of testosterone replacement therapy, which many people believe has been abused by athletes in an attempt to conceal the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In addition, he revealed that he is working with Dr. Margaret Goodman, the neurologist and former ringside physician and head of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, on a new anti-doping project. Dr. Goodman is leading the effort to establish an organization called VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency. This would have elite boxers and MMA fighters voluntarily submit to random, unannounced blood and urine testing using the protocols of WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. The goal would then be for their opponents to agree to such testing as well, and to help those many fighters who are against doping to combat the cheating in their sports.
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