Exclusive: I have complete trust in Valdez, says WBC President

It's like if you have a kid stealing a candy bar and then someone goes into a bank and robs with a gun - both are stealing but it's a much different assessment."

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has defended his stance on Oscar Valdez after the Mexican tested positive for banned substance phentermine.

Valdez had a random drugs test by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on August 13 and the result returned on August 30 with the fighter testing positive for the stimulant.

Despite the 'adverse finding', his junior lightweight title fight against Robson Conceicao will go ahead on September 10 after the WBC intervened.

When asked about how he may have tested positive for the banned substance, Valdez cited it may have been down to drinking different types of herbal tea.

The WBC President exclusively spoke to Planet Sport about how they came to their controversial decision on the matter.

"We were informed about a test that was performed a month ago. VADA do the process of selecting and testing. Once they informed the WBC of the finding they finish and we take over.

"We created a panel and started thoroughly all the aspects having to do with this case because every single case is different.

"You cannot have a blanket position for cases that would be extremely unfair. It's like if you have a kid stealing a candy bar and then someone goes into a bank and robs with a gun - both are stealing but it's a much different assessment and condition.

"What we did, we analysed the substance, the levels, the timing, the interviews we had with Oscar Valdez and his team and all the stakeholders of the event - the ABC, the commission, the promoters, we thoroughly analysed every single aspect.

"The WBC decided to put certain penalties on Valdez which is through testing for the next six months, one-year probation, he will have to undergo a certification programme on nutrition, hydration, substance and weight management.

"Then he will have to appear six times in front of different scenarios so he can become an ambassador of that clean sport and fair play. There is a lot of confusion because the fans and the media usually react without making any analysis or without understanding the complete situation.

"Unfortunately when it was announced that there was an adverse finding everybody reacted and said take the title away, cut his head, ban him for life without even understanding or knowing what it was about.

"I feel very comfortable, I have complete trust in Valdez. He went to two Olympic Games, he has passed 30 anti-doping tests as a professional fighter and we are certain that his position when we had the hearing we believe in him.

"He has had all the substances he uses sent to the laboratory and we found no reason to suspend the fight or to suspend him or take the title away from him.

"We did find him guilty it was an offence - a violation - and we imposed those penalties."

When asking whether a six-month ban should be the punishment for the violation, Sulaiman interjected.

"Why? We analyse, that's your opinion. There are many banned substances with different effects, different levels, different circumstances. We decided why would you have a blanket penalty for 300 different cases.

"I understand it because they don't want to understand or understand the process. If you have a situation whatever crime you commit you have to go in front of a jury and have an opportunity to defend and prove your case, why would doping be different?

"We don't judge by importance, we judge every single case and is looked at and administered specifically of what it was," Sulaiman replied when asked if every case was treated differently.

"When Alexander Povetkin was with meldonium the fight was suspended, the case took one year to sort. It is so unfair to judge. I have no idea what phentermine is - no idea.

"I will tell you the 300 substances and you have no idea we are not chemists. Let the scientists and experts give us the whole information so it is fair.

"We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this (WBC's Clean Boxing programme) do you think we would put our reputation on the line?"

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