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Katie Taylor continues to break new ground- Full random VADA drug testing employed for world title fight

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Katie Taylor [14(6)-0] and Christina Linardatou’s [12(6)-1(0)] is the first ever female fight to be subject to full pre-fight random drug testing via the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency.

Both fighters agreed to enroll in the program when they signed a contract to fight on November 2 earlier this Autumn.

The undisputed lightweight champion signed up to the World Boxing Council Clean Boxing Program in the Summer after it was made open to female fighters as well as males.

A number of other female punchers also enrolled in that WBC program, but Taylor pushed for additional measures ahead of her bid to become a two weight world champion on top of a Manchester Arena bill.

Taylor wanted the VADA style testing Anthony Joshua insists his opponents sign up for to employed for her fights form here on out.

As a result the WBO lightweight title fight between champion Linardatou and challenge Taylor will be ground breaking for more reasons than one – with both fighters taking steps to prove they are clean athletes.

VADA co-founder, president and chairperson Dr. Margaret confirmed the ‘watershed moment’ to BoxingScene.com.

Taylor’s insistence on using VADA testing may have roots in the fact former foe Delfine Persoon was cleared of an anti-doping offence committed last year.

The fighter, who gave Taylor her toughest test to date was under investigation for missing a drug test in October 2018.

A curious case, Persoon was visited at home by a tester from the Flemish regional agency but was unable to urinate and, following an extended period, dismissed him “unceremoniously” due to work relating to her job as a full-time police offcer.

The 34-year-old explained her reasoning on social media at the time and was cleared yesterday by the Flemish Doping Court.

Prosecutor Patrick Verlooy relayed the information to the Belga news agency, explaining that Persoon had been visited at home by a tester on the morning of October 28th but had just gone to the bathroom and was unable to urinate.

The tester accompanied Persoon to training and then on to her police station but was eventually forced to leave as the long-reigning champion was needed to go on a surveillance mission in the nearby town of Aalst.

Verlooy outlined how “Delfine Persoon had just gone to the bathroom. The court accepted this argument, and therefore acquitted it.”

“When the check-up doctor registered at her home that day, Delfine Persoon was unable to immediately deliver a sample because she had just been to the toilet. Subsequently, the control doctor went to her training course and later also to the police offices in Bruges, but even there it was not possible to pee.”

“After this, Delfine Persoon had to leave for a monitoring assignment in Aalst and the inspection doctor was not allowed to follow, after which the check was interrupted.”

The infraction occurred in the build-up to Persoon’s tenth-round stoppage of Judy Waguthii.

Responding to the coverage of the investigation, Persoon blasted perceived media sensationalism, noting “this is not about a refused test but an impossibility” before reiterating the reasons why she could not urinate and also criticising the doping controls for not taking into account that she has a full-time job on top of her boxing career.

Persoon says she has successfully passed three tests since the incident and before her bout with Taylor.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com