To President Gilberto Mendoza: I am proud to be the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion. As the first Latino to ever win the world heavyweight title, it is an honor that I have fought for or defended nine times since August of 2000. It has come to my attention that, behind my back, James Toney and his people are attempting to have the WBA lift or modify the two-year sanction against him fighting for my title. That punishment was imposed on him May 16, 2005, as a result of his testing positive for his use of an illegal performance enhancing drug in our April 30th fight. The WBA Championship Rules against “the use of drugs…in amounts which are intended to artificially and disloyally increase the boxer’s performance before or during a fight” could not be clearer:
“…the challenger shall be disqualified and shall not box for the title from World Boxing Association during the next two (2) years and only after presentation of medical evidence that he has been rehabilitated.”
Toney has not appealed this ruling, either to the WBA, pursuant to its Appeal Regulations, or to the New York State Athletic Commission. The reason: his explanation about taking prescription drugs for an arm injury turning into a performance enhancing anabolic steroid is a lie. The NYSAC has already rejected this false excuse. Ask yourself, why has he not appealed? The answer is obvious: Toney knows that if he does, the results of his blood tests would be open to the public, the extremely high levels of the illegal steroid he took would be revealed, and his “excuse” would be laughed at.
Instead he hides behind this false story and is trying to have the WBA’s two-year ban lifted in a similar way. He has already brought shame upon himself and the sport of boxing by his illegal actions. The WBA would do the same to itself by not following its rules.
Toney’s failure to appeal is all the justification you need to reject any request he makes for relief from the sanctions the rules of the WBA demand, and all that the rest of the boxing world should need to realize that not only is Toney a cheat, he is a liar.