When it comes to drug testing and the apparently widespread issue of steroid usage and performance enhancing drugs in boxing, Timothy Bradley has no worries. Despite utilizing a full regimen of supplements, shakes and various nutritional products, failing a drug test is not an issue for him.
“Nope, no concern for me,” Bradley said in a recent interview with ProBoxing-Fans.com.
He doesn’t take any illegal drugs or performance enhancers, and he’s confident that the supplements he does utilize are safe, clean and legal as well.
Bradley only takes supplements and nutritional products from USANA Health Sciences, and happily serves as their unpaid spokesperson. Not only is he pleased with their quality, and the results he sees, but he can rest easy at night thanks to a special guarantee.
“I only mess with USANA,” Bradley said. “They are the only company out there that is going to guarantee me $1 million if I test positive for any illegal substance. I’m behind them 110%. There’s no supplement company out there that’s going to give you a contract that if you test positive, let me pay you $1 million of your salary that year.”
That’s right, if Tim Bradley fails a drug test as a result of taking a product provided to him by USANA, he’ll be compensated to the tune of $1 million.
Dr. Brian Dixon, Executive Director of Product and Technology Innovation at USANA, confirms this. “Any athlete who has signed up for the guarantee and fails a banned substance test as a result of taking USANA’s product can be compensated up to a million dollars,” he said.
It’s not enough to make up for all the money Bradley would lose from a major fight cancellation and the ensuing damage to his reputation, but it’s more than enough to provide him with the comfort of knowing that he can unwaveringly trust USANA’s products.
Bradley carefully monitors what he puts into his body – he follows a strict vegan diet during training – and he’s an absolute workout fiend. He believes this focus on nutrition, along with his supplement usage, gives him a crucial edge, particularly as he moves up in weight from his more natural home at Junior Welterweight.
He also believes that all boxers, as top athletes, should be taking supplements to improve their performance. Teaming up with a company like USANA simply made sense for him.
“USANA’s the way to go for me, and that’s the bottom line,” Bradley said. “I only use USANA products and that’s been very beneficial, and the potency is there, and what’s in the bottle is actually what’s in the bottle, it’s not laced with anything.”
By using only USANA supplements, Bradley believes he has no risk of ingesting an inadvertently tainted over the counter supplement, and that there’s no risk of anything illicit purposefully being added in without his knowledge.
Jim Brown, Vice President of Global Operations at USANA, notes that without a high quality product, the guarantee wouldn’t matter. “We provide safe, effective supplements to over 600 world-class athletes with no financial compensation,” he said. “They take the product because it works and because they trust our strict quality control and manufacturing standards.”
Of course, steroids and performance enhancing drugs in boxing aren’t a new problem. Over the past decade, fighters who have tested positive or have been directly linked to steroids include Shane Mosley, James Toney and Fernando Vargas.
The issue recently took center stage, however, during the failed negotiations for a Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-fight. Mayweather accused Pacquiao of taking steroids and demanded Olympic-style random drug testing. Pacquiao at first refused, then relented, and ultimately fired back at Mayweather’s accusations with a defamation lawsuit.
Since then, more fighters have been signing up for pre-fight drug testing programs, including those administered by the United States Anti Doping Agency, and a new organization headed by Dr. Margaret Goodman, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, VADA. This positive momentum was slowed, however, as two fighters who separately requested VADA testing, Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto, failed pre-fight tests, leading to the cancellation of their scheduled rematches against Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz, respectively.
Berto blamed a tainted supplement, something which Bradley is confident he won’t fall victim to, while Peterson admitted to taking prescribed treatments to combat low testosterone levels.
Considering this, as well as Bradley’s firm belief in supplement usage and his status as a clean fighter, why wasn’t there VADA or USADA drug testing for his fight against Manny Pacquiao?
“Drug testing was never brought up during our negotiations. Is it something I would like? Sure, I wouldn’t mind. If you are clean, you shouldn’t have a problem taking the test,” Bradley said in a recent media conference call.
As for Pacquiao, Bradley isn’t sure what to believe. “I don’t know if Pacquiao ever used steroids or not,” he said.
What he does believe, with absolute confidence, is that he’ll upset Pacquiao on June 9th, and that he would pass any drug test on any day.
All clean fighters should have that confidence. Of course, for Tim Bradley, the $1 million guarantee certainly helps.