WBC super-featherweight champion Oscar Valdez has admitted that the controversy surrounding his failed drug test has proved a “little difficult” but insists he and his team did nothing wrong ahead of his title defence against former amateur rival Robson Conceição in Tucson on Friday
Valdez’s A and B samples both tested positive for the appetite suppressant phentermine, banned under VADA testing, but the fight was allowed to proceed with the ruling Pascua Yaqui Tribal Athletic Commission deeming the results came ‘out of competition’, conveniently adopting the less stringent WADA rules.
The WBC also allowed Valdez to hold onto his green and gold belt by handing the Mexican a 12-month probation – a punishment that could be described as light at best. The Valdez camp insist the positive result stemmed from the consumption of a herbal tea.
But, maintaining his innocence, Valdez feels the furore over the positive test has made him appreciate his supporters as he looks to trump Brazil’s unbeaten Conceição, who beat him by a solitary point in the 2009 Pan American Games.
“I’ve been very focused on not looking at anything negative out there,” said Valdez. “It has been a little difficult — I can’t lie — but this is what we have to go through. This is what it’s going to be.
“This is when you realise who the real people are around you, who are loyal to you and got your back. I realize that my family is number one and also my team. I have to thank everyone on my team, my manager, Frank Espinoza, and my trainer, Eddy Reynoso. My father has always been there with me. Just everyone who has been around supporting me during these tough times because it has been difficult. They had my back, and we know we did nothing wrong. We’re going to be real concentrated for this fight.
“[Our amateur meeting] was a back-and-forth fight, but I lost. I always took my losses very seriously. Everybody hates losing and I’m one of them. I’m a sore loser. Now that I get the chance to fight him as a professional, I’m taking this fight very seriously like all the fights. I’m defending my title, and I’m going to do whatever it takes and whatever I got to defend my title and avenge my loss.”
Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.