IBF welterweight title holder Andre Berto has tested positive for steroids, making him the second fighter within a month to test positive for a performance-enhancing drug, according to ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael,
I kid not. Just filed to ESPN: Andre Berto tested positive for steroid, putting June 23 fight with Victor Ortiz in jeopardy.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 18, 2012
The unfortunate news puts the June 23 rematch between Berto and Victor Ortiz in serious limbo. The match was already postponed from it's original date of Feb. 11 due to Berto injuring his bicep
A new trend is emerging among elite boxers. Just a few weeks ago, the much-anticipated rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan was postponed due to Peterson failing a random drug test.
If the Berto-Ortiz rematch is indeed cancelled, this would be two major cards that were cancelled in succession, making the June 9 Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley bout even bigger than it was before. Boxing will need as much good press as possible going forward to get the public to move on from these two unfortunate incidents.
In this day of heightened testing procedures, any athlete that takes a risk using a PED and gets caught deserves a stiff penalty. With more and more cases popping up as of late, guidelines to just what those penalties will be needs to be created in order to punish the offenders accordingly and consistently.