1) I am shocked and devastated
It is quite surprising and heartbreaking that the boxer responsible for taking the banned substance is always the most stunned by the news of a failed performance-enhancing drug test.
2) I will prove my innocence
When a fighter tests positive for a PED, they often believe that this is just the beginning of a game where they can turn the result around. However, failing a test means being guilty, regardless of the circumstances.
3) I chose to have voluntary testing and even paid for it myself
This statement is commonly used to manipulate those who are easily swayed. The idea behind it is that by opting for testing, the fighter must be innocent. However, believing this requires ignoring the flawed cycling process that less conscientious boxers tend to fall victim to.
4) Let the apology be as loud as the disrespect
After the initial shock and involving lawyers, this statement is often made when there seems to be a glimmer of hope for the boxer. However, regardless of how the situation resolves, a boxer who fails a PED test does not deserve an apology. If they are fortunate, an apology might serve as absolution.
5) What is it called? I have never even heard of that
Amir Khan recently used this line to highlight a boxer’s supposed ignorance about PEDs. Furthermore, it may reinforce its impact if the boxer struggles to pronounce the drug’s name when reminded.
6) Wait until you see how small the amount was
After acknowledging that a drug was found in their system, the next step is to inform the world that it was only a minuscule amount and had no impact on the fight.
7) I have never failed a test in my career
When it comes to a failed PED test, a boxer’s past record is irrelevant, just like anything else they might say after the news is made public. Committing a prior offense does not earn respect or leniency.
8) It is in the hands of the lawyers
This statement typically reflects desperation and hints at guilt. It suggests a fear of saying the wrong thing and worsening the situation. Often, it is a poorly written message posted on social media without any further explanation.
9) I will do whatever it takes to clear my name
Once a boxer’s reputation is tarnished, it is not their responsibility, nor their promoter’s, to clear their name. Instead, it is up to the fans, those who support them by buying tickets and pay-per-views, to decide if the tarnish can be removed.
10) My mental health has suffered
Using mental health issues as a defense strategy following a transgression in order to gain leniency or sympathy from the public or authorities is as inappropriate as making light of those issues. Society has progressed from belittling mental health problems, and leveraging them for personal gain is not acceptable.