Oscar Valdez Checks Constructive For VADA Banned Substance, Struggle With Conceicao In Query

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Oscar Valdez continues to work hard on his next ring appearance as his legal team has taken the lead in what is perhaps the most important fight of his career.

The undefeated two-time and reigning WBC junior lightweight title will make its first defense against Brazilian Robson Conceicao (16-0, 8KOs), live on September 10th on ESPN + from the AVA Amphitheater at Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona , will be held . Given that Valdez (29-0, 23KOs) presented a positive A-Sample for a Prohibited Substance, as determined by Random Drug Testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), as first boxed on social media by ESPN.com -Insider Mike Coppinger noticed.

BoxingScene.com has learned that the substance in question is Phentermine, a dietary anorectic usually used as an appetite suppressant. The substance – a commonly prescribed weight loss drug – is banned during competition under the generally accepted drug testing standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

According to information from BoxingScene.com, the detected amount was a low concentration but still enough to be flagged by VADA’s zero tolerance policy.

“Based on my experience and after speaking to Mr. Valdez, I have a good idea of ​​where the substance came from – more than likely from an otherwise harmless herbal tea,” said Patrick English, Valdez’s lawyer – on the matter – on a thirteen page letter to WBC , VADA, Top Rank (Valdez ‘promoter), and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, a copy of which BoxingScene.com received. “However, I need to draw your attention to an important threshold issue. Phentermine is not a prohibited substance in Mr. Valdez’s training at this point. “

The basis for English’s legal reasoning arises from substances classified as prohibited in competition and out of competition by the WADA code. However, VADA has its own Prohibited Substance List, which lists Phentermine as a Prohibited Stimulant.

VADA does not differentiate between inside and outside the competition. All substances on the current Prohibited List are prohibited at all times as stated on the website.

However, VADA is also not authorized to suspend athletes from the competition, but to report its results to the Presidium, the participants and their respective teams. If so, it would be up to the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona to be the presiding authority of the September 10th event. Commissioners declined to comment on the matter and failed to discuss the process required in such cases to uncover a fighter’s name.

VADA representatives did not respond to a request for comment. Neither Top Rank nor members of the respective Valdez or Conceicao teams were able to comment on this as the matter is currently under investigation.

The event is still to be driven forward, although the status is understandably endangered in view of the current developments. As with all drug tests, Valdez has the right to request that his “B” sample be examined. Alternatively, their team may hold a hearing where they have the opportunity to prove contamination or any means other than intent with which the product in question was ingested.

It won’t necessarily clear him up with VADA, the rules of which are to call the athlete responsible for what enters his system. The drug testing organization also advises against the use of any type of dietary supplement, as noted on any paperwork that participants must complete when enrolling in the program.

“We find that Mr. Valdez was unaware that he was taking Phentermine and that we currently believe it was from an herbal tea,” English theorizes. “This shows the tremendous value of VADA testing. Had it not come to the fore, it would be very likely that a “competitive” test would have caught Phentermine with dire consequences. He has now become aware of the problem and has stopped taking anything that may be contaminated. “

Valdez stays in the gym to prepare for the upcoming title defense, which is taking place in his childhood hometown. The two-time Olympian for Mexico and the two-division playlist posted live training videos on his Instagram earlier Tuesday at Trainer Eddy Reynoso’s facility in San Diego.

Last February 20, Valdez won the WBC junior lightweight title at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas over the tenth round knockout of long-time champion Miguel Berchelt. Both boxers were given random VADÅ drug tests for the fight.

The win came almost two years after Valdez ‘previous title fight, a twelve-round decisive win over Jason Sanchez in the final defense of the WBO featherweight belt, which he attributed to a knockout victory in July 2016 against the then undefeated Matias Rueda in her vacant title fight.

Conceicao enters his first career title fight, provided the fight goes on as planned. The three-time Olympian, who became the first boxer in Brazil to win gold in Rio in 2016, made it through in the seventh round against Jesus Antonio Ahumada in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last April. On his last appearance, the 32-year-old Brazilian survived a knockdown and two point deductions to defeat Luis Coria in his ten-round thriller in Las Vegas last October.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox