Is the WBC weaponizing drug testing? It appears so. By Michael Dante

Is the WBC weaponizing drug testing?  It appears so.

By Michael Dante


Thanks to the WBC, there’s no longer any reason to mince words on the subject of drug testing in boxing. It doesn’t work! The recent fight between levgen Khytrov and Immanuwel Aleem demonstrates this so clearly that I believe a simple recitation of the evidence is needed.


*October 11th 2016: The WBC states in it’s daily news summary;


“Within 15 days of publication of the monthly ratings, any boxer entering the top 15 must directly or through his management or promoter, through an authorized representative of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program (CBP) must fulfill all mandatory requirements to enter the CBP. The boxer must enroll in the program, or he shall be removed from the ratings and be unavailable to fight for any WBC-affiliated title until such time as he properly enroll.”


*November 25th 2016: The first news stories about a fight between Khytrov and Aleem for the vacant WBC Silver title appear on social media and are later confirmed.


*Khytrov is ranked #2 by the WBC and has been enrolled in VADA/CBP testing since the programs inception. Aleem was unranked by the WBC and is not enrolled in VADA/CBP testing.


*On or around December 15th the WBC posted it’s new middleweight rankings which, despite knowing that he would be fighting for the WBC Silver title, did not include Immanuwel Aleem.


*The middleweight fight for the WBC Silver title went off as planned with Khytrov having undergone VADA testing and Aleem being, to my knowledge, only subjected to the post fight commission testing.

In summation; when the middleweight Silver title became vacant the WBC decided to have a fighter who had been in it’s rankings and in it’s Clean Boxing Program for over a year face an unranked fighter who was not in the Clean Boxing Program. The WBC then had an opportunity to place Aleem in it’s rankings roughly one month before the fight and decided not to. Based on information received from a member of Aleem’s team the WBC did not ask Aleem to sign up for the Clean Boxing Program. These are the facts of this situation.

For the record; Aleem not being tested by VADA was confirmed in a recent communication with WBC commissioner Mauricio Sulaiman.

Hello. Aleem was not enrolled when he fought because the mandatory enrollment is for top 15 fighters. He must now enroll as he is the WBC Silver champion”.

-Mauricio Sulaiman


Based on the WBC’s passed statements it is outrageous that they allowed an unranked and untested fighter to compete for their Silver title. It runs counter to all the rhetoric they have used about the importance of a clean sport and fair play.


Two fighters under went radically different drug testing protocol in a WBC title fight. A fighter who did not undergo VADA testing was allowed to fight for a WBC title. Contrast that with the following statements the WBC has made over the past year;


January 13th 2017:

We are all standing together, shoulder to shoulder, keeping the sport of boxing great and safe! We are very proud of you all and also thank you for showing the world that you truly and deeply care for the sport, for Fair Play and CLEAN BOXING”.


December 27th 2016:

We have had cases of testings that we have done and every single time that my phone rings and I see the name Margaret Goodman, I start shaking. But this is part of the program. We are not going back. We are committed to be Clean Boxing Program and I’m very, very proud.”


December 2016:

As I was about to board my flight from Miami back home to Mexico City when my phone rang. It was Dr. Margaret Goodman from VADA, and she notified me that an adverse finding was confirmed on Alexander Povetkin’s anti-doping test for an Anabolic Steroid, just 20 hours before the scheduled fight vs Stiverne for the WBC interim heavyweight title. As I sat down on the plane and explained to my wife Christiane, I was feeling numb. I was shocked and the great feeling I was enjoying just minutes before due to the great success of our convention was completely overshadowed by the terrible news. Then my wife said ‘What a statement this is for the WBC! This proves the greatness of the Clean Boxing Program and the commitment to protect the fighters and the sport”.


My wife helped me understand something I was not seeing and today I stand tall as we are taking great steps and there is no turning back. The WBC lost two heavyweight fights in 2016. We have spent much time, efforts and money to try to resolve the multiple problems which have risen from the Wilder-Povetkin and now Stiverne-Povetkin matters. But safety has no compromise”

Mauricio Sulaiman


October 11th 2016 WBC Daily News Summary:

“Within 15 days of publication of the monthly ratings, any boxer entering the top 15 must directly or through his management or promoter, through an authorized representative of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program (CBP) must fulfill all mandatory requirements to enter the CBP. The boxer must enroll in the program, or he shall be removed from the ratings and be unavailable to fight for any WBC-affiliated title until such time as he properly enroll.”


May 6th 2016:

At the present time, testing for PEDs is limited and without uniformity from jurisdiction to jurisdiction”. -Mauricio Sulaiman


May 6th 2016:

The WBC, founded in 1963 and presided by the late Dr. Jose Sulaiman for 38 years, is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the sport of boxing and implementing safety measures for the protection of all boxers”. –M. Sulaiman


It would seem the WBC is very willing to talk about how committed they are to “fair play” and “protecting all boxers”…….if only their actions lived up to their words. How can Mr. Sulaiman use this soaring rhetoric about fair play and cleaning up boxing when he is allowing an untested fighter to step in the ring with a fighter who has been in his rankings and being tested by VADA for well over a year?


For that matter why is an unranked fighter fighting for the vacant Silver title at all?  When asked about this Mr. Sulaiman stated in correspondence that:


“The result of the fight answers your question. The fighter deserved the opportunity and proved the approval of the bout to be correct”

-Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC Commissioner


Apparently the fact that one fighter was untested is of no importance to Mr. Sulaiman. Why wasn’t one of the many fighters in the WBC top 15, who is undergoing VADA testing, selected to fight for the WBC Silver title vs Khytrov? Why did Mr. Sulaiman allow the WBC Silver title to be at stake in this fight? Why did Mr. Sulaiman allow the exact same thing to happen in the Bernard Hopkins vs Joe Smith fight when the WBC International Title was on the line? In that bout Smith was VADA tested but Hopkins was not. If a “clean sport” and “fair play” are so important to Mr. Sulaiman why are his organizations titles being fought for by untested fighters?


In other correspondence with Mr. Sulaiman he implied that the post fight drug tests done by commissions are of similar quality to VADA’s testing;


There are 2 types of anti-doping tests. The random out of competition and the competition after the bout tests performed by local commissions”.


-Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC Commissioner


Mr. Sulaiman gave that answer after he was confronted with a question about why he would allow his organizations title to be on the line in a fight where both fighters had not been VADA tested. If commission testing is acceptable, in that it shows a fighter is clean, then why was the CBP created? Why is VADA involved?


The WBC’s rules and regulations regarding the “Silver Championship”:


Silver Championship. In its discretion, on such terms and conditions as it may impose, the

WBC may designate or order and award WBC Silver Championships of the World in each

weight division. The WBC Silver Champions hip is a world title superior to all WBC

championships except the World or Diamond Championships. The WBC may designate

the challengers for a Silver Championship from among any Qualified Challengers. A Silver

Champion must comply with all defense and other obligations applicable to WBC World

Champions hereunder as the WBC shall order in its discretion. A Silver Champion shall

not be a mandatory contender for the WBC World Championship absent winning a final

elimination bout for the World title, unless a written exception has been authorized by a

majority vote of the WBC Board of Governors in its sole discretion.


A fighter having the Silver title moves him very close to a mandatory spot. While the WBC may have been operating within it’s rules to allow Aleem to fight for the Silver title while unranked and untested doing so is a clear departure from the statements they have made about supporting a “clean sport” and “fair play”. Was no ranked and tested fighter willing to fight Khytrov? I find that hard to believe and in fact know that several ranked fighters were never offered the fight. Why not? Could it have anything to do with the fact that current WBC champions Gennady Golovkin pays opponents well which makes being his mandatory challenger a good position monetarily? Only Mr. Suliman can know what the motivation for his actions were.


I would like to ask Mr. Sulaiman one final question. Considering that numerous fighters are being asked or in some cases forced, if they wish to advance in your organizations rankings, to take fights against untested fighters why should any fighter enroll in the WBC’s CBP testing program? Levgen Khytrov had been enrolled in VADA year round testing for over one year. Based on information I received Khytrov was been tested by VADA long before the CBP came into existence. He did everything right and is in many ways the “poster boy” for the CBP. But the thanks he received was to be confronted with an untested fighter in the first title fight of his career. What kind of message does that send? Do you think your actions match your rhetoric?


It seems quite clear that the WBC’s drug testing protocol has very little to do with safety. When fighters who have been rigorously tested are fighting untested fighters for titles something is clearly wrong. Is the WBC using drug testing as a way to manipulate fight outcomes? Is drug testing a way to do favors for certain promoters? Despite the WBC’s rhetoric about the importance of a clean sport and safety their actions speak louder than their words. It seems as if the WBC has “weaponized drug testing”.  Arming some fighters with the weapon while turning it against others.


The views in this story represent the opinions of the guest author, and not necessarily those of or its representatives…



  1. It’s pretty clear that the WBC is doing favors for American boxers in the shadiest of ways, great article Mr Dante.

  2. Although this is specifically about the Khytrov/ Aleem match, the wider scope of this kind of testing is diabolical.
    WBC can not only use testing to protect fighter/promoters their in bed with. Sulaiman can tarnish a fighter’s careers or a rival promotion
    Excellent work.


  4. The MMA became incredibly popular with little or no drug testing to speak of. The MMA introducing drug testing is a liability concern on their part.

    This article is about drug testing being applied unequally from fighter to fighter so that competition can be removed, manipulated, etc.

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