WBC super-featherweight champion Oscar Valdez has tested positive for Phentermine, a banned substance generally used for suppressing appetite, threatening his planned defence against Robson Conceição in Tucson on September 10.
The story was first broken by ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger who revealed a trace amount of the substance had been found in Valdez’s ‘A’ sample after testing by VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency), as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program.
Valdez’s lawyer Pat English contends the findings came from an innocent source. “Based upon my experience and after discussion with Mr. Valdez I have a fair idea where the substance came from – more than possibly from an otherwise innocuous herbal tea,” stated English in a letter sent to the WBC, VADA, Valdez’s promoter Top Rank and Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission.
“However, there is an important threshold matter for me to bring to your attention. Phentermine is not a banned substance at this point in Mr. Valdez’s training.”
The distinction is that Phentermine is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ‘out of competition’ but is listed as a prohibited stimulant by VADA in and out of competition..
The WBC will now meet with Valdez’s lawyer English, Top Rank and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission, officiating the fight in Tucson, via video conference on Wednesday to decide the next step. Valdez can, of course, call for a B sample or state his case at a hearing.
“There has been media diffusion of an adverse analytical finding concerning WBC super-featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez,” said the WBC in a statement.
“Pursuant to the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol, the WBC: (1) is investigating the matter; (2) appointed an inquiry committee; and (3) will hold a hearing with Oscar Valdez and his team very soon. No further comment will be made until the WBC finishes its due process.”
Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.