Paschal Collins wants doping to be criminalised in boxing
Former UFC champion T.J. Dillashaw has accepted a two-year suspension for doping with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirming the ban on Tuesday.
USADA says Dillashaw tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin, a synthetic hormone better known as EPO, with his suspension set to run until 18 January 2021 which would be exactly two years after the positive sample was collected during his preparation to challenge Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title.
The former UFC Bantamweight champion is the latest UFC fighter to be caught using performance enhancing drugs and Irish boxing coach Paschal Collins has called for dopers to face criminal charges if they are caught using PEDs.
United States lawmakers introduced a bill last year that would attach prison time to the use, manufacturing or distribution of performance-enhancing drugs in global competitions and Collins believes boxing should be unified in fighting the issue.
"If you look at top level sport, PEDs are rampant," said Collins.
"At the end of the day, top level athletes can make huge money in the time that they have in sport and a lot of them, not all of them, will cheat to give them that extra 5 per cent so they can make a lot of money.
"In a lot of sports no one gets hurt, except for the people they beat, but in combat sports, be it boxing or mixed martial arts, what is happening now is you are taking an elite athlete at the top of their game and you are making them more dangerous.
"Apart from other sports, this is where boxing should be kept in a separate category. Professional boxing is the hurt game and to make someone more dangerous should not be allowed to happen.
"I worry about taking my fighters into fights where someone is showing all the signs that they are using performance enhancing drugs and I think this is why we need to bring legislation into all boxing bodies.
"I did say it once to the Boxing Union of Ireland where the government can legislate against someone knowingly, and I mean large amounts of performance enhancing drugs, that criminal charges are brought against them.
"Can their opponent sue them? That fighter could be making the fight more dangerous for them?"
According to the Irish Sports Council, when an Adverse Analytical Finding is issued against an Athlete for a Prohibited Substance or for evidence of a Prohibited Method, other than a Specified Substance, a provisional suspension will come into effect automatically on the date specified by the Irish Sports Council.
At a professional level, Nevada boxing regulators gave Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez a reduced penalty of a six-month suspension, instead of the standard one year for first-time violators, after testing positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol.
Collins said he would like to see convicted dopers charged with Grevious Bodily Harm if they are found to have cheated and that this should be a condition upon entering the sport.
"If you enforce a law into legislation where any fighter who wants to take performance enhancing drugs, knowing this going into the sport, that you will be arrested for taking a certain amount and charged with Grievous Bodily Harm or actual bodily harm but I think that needs to be brought into the sport."
Collins also said that fighters at title fights he has attended knew of the testing in advance and because of this it made the process of detection easier to avoid.
In December of last year, the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (RADA) was introduced into the US Senate, after first being introduced to the US House of Representatives in June of last year. The Act would establish criminal penalties for defrauding international sporting competitions through doping schemes.
The issue in boxing is that different commissions will have different regulations. For instance, in the United States, where Collins' fighters frequently compete, the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports does not have a drug-use policy where the Nevada State Athletic Commission test out of competition and also have a three strike and out policy which can ban fighters for life.
He wants unification from all the different commissions on this issue.
"The controls have to be the same worldwide," added Collins.
"In Boston the boxing commission is chosen and put in place by the Department of Health and Safety. These guys are all put in from a government level wherein Ireland it's run by those from people within boxing but I don't think most of the boxing commissions around the world are from state bodies.
"There should be some sort of AGM from all the boxing commissions saying let's enforce these rules. Let's enforce these laws the world over. It's the only way of working so these guys can't enforce more damage but I can't see it happening because money talks."