EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JOURNALIST GABE MONTOYA INVESTIGATES THE DRUG TESTING PROCESS
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
Montoya talks about his work to uncover PED use in boxing
BOXINGTALK: Gabe, there was an article about you written by Mark “Scoop” Malinowski a few days ago that has caused a quiet finger pointing storm. Before we get into that, I want you to explain to the fans the difference between VADA testing and the USADA testing?
Gabe Montoya: In my opinion, the root of the performance enhancing drug (PED) problem in boxing these days is the use of synthetic testosterone. Synthetic testosterone is basically testosterone that does NOT come from your body. Now the difference between VADA and the USADA [testing organizations], is VADA uses a test called CIR or the Carbon Isotope Ratio testing. VADA uses this test 100% of the time. They are proactive in catching the cheats, whereas the USADA uses these CIR test strategically. I have asked how often they use the CIR test but I still have not received a definitive answer.The USADA usually test for TE ratios or testosterone ratios of over 4 to 1 and 6 to 1 in Nevada and New York. Now you have to understand that the average person’s ratio is around 1 to 1.
Lamont Peterson for example had a ratio of 3.77 to 1. If Peterson had been tested under USADA and they decided not to use the CIR test, then he would not have been caught.
BT: Very interesting Gabe. You’re definitely educating me right now. What I find most interesting is why would a 4 to 1 testosterone ratio be allowed anyway, when the average person is around 1 to 1. That seems to give plenty of room to cheat.
GM: I actually asked Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission that same question and he didn’t give me an definitive answer at that time. I later heard him say that they allowed such high ratios because they didn’t want to get any false positives on the combat sport athletes.
BT: Ok now let’s get to the article that Malinowski wrote and how that came about.
GM: I really don’t know exactly how this all came about. I do know I received a letter that used the term “Inadvertent Usage Exemption.” Golden Boy sent me a cease and desist letter over claims that I NEVER made publicly. What I find most interesting is that I NEVER used the term “Inadvertent Usage Exemption” publicly.
BT: I may not be an expert on PED testing but I am very observant on specifics. You keep using the word publicly. I find that interesting and I won’t intrude too much because I understand that there can be legal ramifications. But for the fans can you at least elaborate slightly?
GM: I asked Bruce Binko, who works for Golden Boy, and I asked Keith Kizer some questions. I asked Binko is there a contingency plan in place in case a fighter comes up positive right before a BIG fight. He replied, 'I can’t answer that unless “they” give me permission.' I then asked him who is “they”. We then started to play a game of cat and mouse without definitive answers. I asked Keith Kizer some questions about positive test also with no definitive answers. And a couple of days ago I received this letter from Golden Boy attorneys.
BT: Wow. Malinowski’s article also mentioned that (journalist) Thomas Hauser sort of indirectly challenged Oscar De La Hoya to release his drug testing results. Does that have anything to do with you?
GM: No, not at all, you would have to ask Thomas about that.
BT: Ok. See the one thing that I know is people like to speak in riddles. But I don’t speak in riddles, so I will phrase my questions so we can operate on an accurate platform. My next question is the article suggests that Floyd Mayweather has tested positive three times in the past. Do you know anything about that?
GM: I won’t comment on what I know about it. But I think you or any other reporter should ask Golden Boy or Floyd that question directly. And the real question is where did Golden Boy hear it because I never said it publicly.
BT: Is there an exemption clause in the drug testing program, and if so what agency employs the exemption clause and did Golden Boy try to implement this clause with VADA. Does the USADA exercise this clause?
GM: I do know for a fact that there is an TUE (Therapeutic Usage Exemption). I can’t comment on what Golden Boy did or did not do with VADA. As far as an Inadvertent Usage Exemption, I won’t comment on that.
BT: Because of the wording, I assume there is a considerable difference between the Therapeutic Use Exemption and Inadvertent Use Exemption if the latter does exist. But I’m going to leave that alone. I will ask however, have you had the opportunity to interview Floyd Mayweather about this and if so what was his response?:
GM: Floyd was very evasive and when I pressed the issue he became confrontational and started to bump my chest with his chest. Actually another writer, Elie Seckbach, was there and he witnessed it. I asked Floyd does he subject himself to testing everyday all year long like USADA test suggest….
BT: That’s unfortunate. What do you say to the people who think you’re tool for VADA and Dr. Margaret Goodman because you’re an advocate for their test?
GM: I would say it’s not true at all. I favor the VADA testing because they are proactive. More importantly look how effective they have been in this short period of time. I also think the VADA testing is much more feasible. The VADA test cost approximately $20,000. The USADA test cost approximately $100,000. That’s huge difference in cost and it doesn’t add up in my opinion.
BT: Yesterday was the Amir Khan vs Danny Garcia press conference. Now Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz are Golden Boy fighters and VADA has just caught two potential opponents of Khan and Ortiz, in Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto in the usage of PEDs. From my knowledge Golden Boy will be using USADA for Khan vs Garcia match. I don’t have a dog in the race but if you are correct about the price and we both can agree VADA has been doing an excellent job, I find it peculiar that Golden Boy wouldn’t keep going with VADA.
GM: I do too.
Below is a list of links that Gabe has been accredited with or would pertain to in his research on PEDs in boxing.
This one is about VADA but also discusses the history of PEDs.
This article laid out a path for a cheater to escape punishment in an anti-doping case. Ironically, the defense I discussed was used by MLB National League MVP Ryan Braun's lawyers the following week to escape his 50 game suspension for testosterone use.
This one is a conversation with Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) President Dr. Goodman about PEDs. We discuss testosterone in here.
This one is about how badly Texas screwed up by not testing Chavez, Jr. Its in-depth coverage of a monumental oops. There is a thread in this story that I expanded into the next link. These stories have made the Nevada commission very uncomfortable to say the least.
This one is about a testosterone loophole in New York and Nevada I exposed earlier this year.
These are stories I wrote after I broke that WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion of the world Lamont Peterson had tested positive for synthetic testosterone.
and The Guardian
credited me with it, however.
My thorough coverage of what happened, when and why showed everyone who plagiarized my early reports and tweets whose story it was. I don’t want to overwhelm you with links so this is like the most thorough account from those first few days.
This piece has three anti-doping legends speaking on the ramifications of the Peterson positive test which will likely change how the London Games will be tested.
This is the story explaining the Andre Berto positive drug test.
All questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will conduct a special mailbag on this interview
Send questions and comments to: dabreadman25@hotmail