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WBO Implements Strict Liability for Drug Test Failures, Urges WBC to Follow Suit

In a recent development, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) has introduced a significant shift in its approach to drug test failures by adopting a ‘strict liability’ stance. This move puts fighters like Conor Benn and Alycia Baumgardner at risk of being banned from boxing, aligning with the principles observed in the Olympics and garnering support from fans and media across various sports.

Strict liability implies that athletes are solely responsible for any prohibited substances found in their system, with an automatic ban often resulting from such instances. The WBO clarified its position, stating that no demonstration of intent, fault, negligence, or knowing use on the fighter’s part is required. Instead, it emphasizes the athlete’s duty to ensure that no banned substances enter their body.

WBO President Paco Valcarcel was contacted by World Boxing News to shed light on the implications of this policy, especially for current WBO super featherweight champion Alycia Baumgardner.

While Baumgardner and Benn have claimed exoneration, questions linger about their status. Despite being ‘cleared’ by the WBC for ‘no intent,’ Baumgardner remains indefinitely banned by the Association of Boxing Commissions, according to BoxRec. On the other hand, the British Boxing Board of Control is challenging the overturning of a temporary ban for Benn by the National Anti-Doping Panel.

Former Balco boss Victor Conte, a prominent figure in the anti-doping discussion, applauds the WBO’s move, signaling a departure from the ‘weak standard’ adopted by the WBC. Conte highlights that the WBC’s approach requires evidence of intent, contrasting with the more stringent stance of the WBO.

As the boxing community navigates through these developments, the WBO’s adoption of strict liability underscores the growing emphasis on accountability in anti-doping measures within the sport.

#WBO #AntiDoping #BoxingControversy #StrictLiability

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