Inside Lines: A top British boxer on drugs? Not me, says the Hayemaker
Sunday 21 March 2010
Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Shane Mosley begin their stringent drugs-testing programme tomorrow in advance of their world-title fight on 1 May amid continuing rumours that a well-known British boxer has been taking the muscle-building human growth hormone, undetectable until recently. But the WBA heavyweight champion David Haye is among those who insist the sport in this country is clean – and so is he. "Whoever this guy is supposed to be, it's definitely not me," he tells us. "I have never taken drugs of any sort in my life and no one has approached me to do so. I am happy to be tested at any time. If it does happen, it is probably in gyms where there are body-builders who take steroids and stuff, and maybe they mix with those guys and get hooked. But I'm always in charge of the gyms I train in and no one would come in and offer me stuff. They wouldn't dare. If someone does know who this boxer is, they should tell the Board of Control and have him tested, but I believe boxing is absolutely clean in this country." Haye was speaking as he prepared for his first defence against the American John Ruiz in Manchester on 3 April, which is on Sky Box Office. This follows his slaying of the slothful Russian giant Nicolay Valuev. Haye says: "This is a fight I have to win because I don't want to be remembered as a one-hit wonder."
Hammers and tongs
Seb Coe and West Ham's co-owner David Sullivan are locked in conflict over the future of the Olympic Stadium. Sullivan says the only sensible option is to transform it into a 60,000-seater football stadium that West Ham could rent. When the 2012 chief made his pledge to the IOC back in 2005 that a London Olympics bid would have an athletics legacy as a priority, I agreed. Now I am not so sure. Since that promise was made, the economic climate has changed dramatically, something even the IOC have recognised, and it is imperative that projects such as the Olympic Stadium pay their way. I no longer believe this could happen by reducing it to a 25,000 capacity that would be used two or three times a year for athletics. There has to be a compromise that would allow the Hammers to be the principal tenants of a stadium that could be used as and when for athletics with retractable seating à la Stade de France. Without a football club it is possible the 2012 legacy could be the whitest of elephants.
Britain's golden gloves
Britain's amateur boxers have returned from the Commonwealth Championships in Delhi with four gold medals, one silver and five bronze – and this without several of their top men. It demonstrates the professional coaching influence of new performance director Rob McCracken, who says: "This shows the depth of talent we have and augurs well for the future." Indeed, and it also shows there is new life in the ring after that Olympic exodus.
Life on Mars
Mars have signed a long-term agreement with the Scottish FA. No doubt including the unlimited supply of Mars bars. Deep-fried, of course.
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