ANTONIO Tarver - the man who stripped Sheffield boxing hero Clinton Woods of his treasured world title four years ago - has been suspended after testing positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone.
The scandal doesn’t surprise Woods, who wants the sport to clean its act up, particularly in America.
Tarver outpointed Woods in Florida in April 2008 taking the IBF light heavyweight crown Woods had owned for three years. There is no suggestion Tarver broke the rules to beat the Steel City man.
But Today Woods, who runs a gym in Westfield, said: “I fought in America three times (Tarver, Roy Jones Jr, 2002, and Tavoris Cloud, 2009) and the testing situation was always joke. In three fights, I had one little test and was told it was only for marijuana.
“It’s always annoyed me how rife American boxing is with drugs and steroids, but at least they are cracking down on it now and people are being caught. The trouble is that people there will only get fined pocket money.”
Tarver reportedly received a $1m purse earlier this month despite failing a urine test. He was suspended from boxing, fined $2,500 but is appealing.
“Did he have steroids in him when we boxed? I wouldn’t know” said Woods. “But in fairness he didn’t beat me because of anything like that, I just underperformed.”
Woods, who quit after losing to Cloud in Florida in 2009, said British and European title fights routinely attracted drug tests. But last weekend’s Central Area title fight in Sheffield, for example, and many others like it did not. “I’d like to see random tests to keep everybody clean” said Woods. “No decent boxer would argue with that.”
Tarver has apologised and says he may have made an innocent mistake. “I’ve always been a proponent of a clean sport and advocated rigorous drug testing” he says. Tarver is the third boxer to test positive recently. Lamont Peterson did the same for synthetic testosterone - his match against Amir Khan to be cancelled. Andre Berto tested positive for norandrosterone.