Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Eric Molina Suspended for Doping, A Year-and-a-Half After Joshua Fight 

by Eddie Goldman

Another day, another fiasco for boxing, UK Anti-Doping, and the New York State Athletic Commission.

On May 22, 2018, UKAD announced that, after a tribunal hearing of the National Anti-Doping Panel, American heavyweight fighter Eric Molina had received a two-year ban for taking Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid which is a banned substance. The positive test came from a urine sample collected right after Molina's fight with Anthony Joshua in Manchester in the U.K. But that fight was on December 10, 2016.

It thus took a year-and-a-half to adjudicate this case, not dissimilar to the length of time it took to adjudicate the cases of Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury.

Molina had been "provisionally suspended since 27 October 2017" according to UKAD, in other words, about ten months after his fight with Joshua. But then, even though he had been "provisionally suspended", Molina fought again on November 4, 2017, in Brooklyn, New York, against Dominic Breazeale, and was stopped at the end of the eighth round.

So why did the New York commission allow a fighter who had been "provisionally suspended" by UKAD to fight? Was there no communication between the bureaucrats of the New York and U.K. commissions? Did nobody bother to check, or did no one care? Or does the New York commission not recognize a provisional suspension from UKAD?

Because of the delay in this case, the start date of Molina's suspension was backdated to October 28, 2017, and runs through October 27, 2019. Molina had been scheduled to fight Mariusz Wach this Friday, May 25, in Warsaw, Poland, on a card that was scheduled to be televised there. That card was, according to BoxRec, sanctioned by the Polish Professional Boxing Department, which also was set to allow a boxer under provisional suspension to fight. Now that fight looks like it will not happen.

Last but not least, this is the same UK Anti-Doping which had been enlisted to bring RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, back into compliance with the WADA code following the exposure of Russia's state-sponsored doping program. RUSADA still remains out of compliance.

While the case of Russia may be the most egregious example of current known attempts to thwart anti-doping protocols, the breakdown of anti-doping procedures extends far beyond their borders.

The full judgment of the tribunal which heard the Eric Molina case can be read at:

(Photo of Eric Molina from Matchroom Boxing.)

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