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article imageOp-Ed: Why Nonito Donaire deserves recognition for anti-doping advocacy

By Leo Reyes     May 24, 2014 in Sports
Three-division world champion Nonito Donaire deserves recognition and praise for his anti-doping advocacy in sports particularly in boxing where he made a name as one of the world's most recognizable sportsmen.
Two years ago, Donaire surprised everyone when he signed up with Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), an anti-doping agency that was established by Dr. Margaret Goodman, the former chief ringside physician and head of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Donaire is the only Filipino professional boxer who has signed up with VADA for a year-round 27/7 random drug testing under VADA. The other boxer who is enrolled in the 24/7 random testing by VADA is Edwin Rodriguez of Dominican Republic.
Although there are prominent boxers who have availed of the 24/7 VADA program, including Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov, Guillermo Rigondeux and Joseph Agbeko, among others, most of them have availed of the VADA 24/7 testing only on a "per fight" basis.
When Donaire took former Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) founder Victor Conte a few years back as his nutritional adviser, critics were suspicious that Donaire could be using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by his mere association with Conte.
But Conte has stated that he no longer deals on performance enhancing drugs following his incarceration and his role was merely to provide nutritional advice to Donaire.
Conte was charged with producing and selling illegal PEDs and was sentenced six month in jail. After serving his sentence, Conte became an active supporter of drug testing in sports.
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He has been advocating random drug testing for boxers and supports the random blood and urine tests being offered by Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
As part of his advocacy to clean the sports, Donaire had consented to be subjected to a year-round, 24/7 random blood and urine tests in collaboration with VADA.
Since June 2012, Donaire has made himself available to VADA at anytime of the day without prior notice, setting new standards for boxers who share his advocacy.
Aside from paying for the cost of the VADA program, Donaire has to make personal sacrifices to accommodate unannounced visits by VADA experts who are tasked to draw blood and urine samples at anytime of the day and wherever he may be in the four corners of the globe.
Donaire said doing some personal sacrifices is something he has to do to preserve the integrity of the sports in general and of boxing in particular.
For his continuing efforts to clean up the sport through his advocacy , Donaire certainly deserves appropriate recognition from boxing stakeholders as well as concerned institutions that are involved in regulating the sport.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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