Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has called for lifetime bans to be introduced in boxing for extreme cases of drug cheating.
The problem of PEDs in boxing has been brought back into the spotlight in recent weeks after Jarrell Miller, who was due to face Joshua in a title bout in New York on June 1st, tested positive for three separate banned substances in the buildup to the fight.
He has subsequently been handed a six month ban by the WBA, a punishment many believe is not fitting of the crime. Miller will be free to fight again in mid-September, leading some to call for a much harsher stance on drug cheats.
Speaking to Boxing Social (h/t The Mirror), Joshua said that lifetime bans should be considered for those who break the rules in such a fashion:
Lesson to be learned - do it the right way. Whether you're taking your exams, your GCSEs, no cheating. Do it the right way, study hard, work hard.
Good luck to him in his future, I can't knock a man when he's down. I hope he learns from his mistakes and corrects them, and if he does get a chance to fight again he can educate up and coming fighters not to make the mistakes he has.
It's short, it's very short. Six months if about the time you have out of the ring after a fight for some fighters, looking for the next opportunity.
But the WBA have made their decision, they're the governing body, and there's nothing more or you can do about it.
I don't know how they came up with six months, but that's their decision and we just have to accept it - it's crazy, right?
Take it case by case, but you should do, yes (give out lifetime bans). When you're man (Miller) is doing the hardcore.
I think you've got to take it case by case because not everyone deserves a lifetime ban. People do deserve bans and punishment, but when you're doing stuff like that, I think there should be consequences.
It's like a court of law. If you carry a gun it's one thing. If you actually use it, it's another thing. It's case by case but there has to be consequences from the top to bottom.
This is certainly a stance that many will agree with. Punishments in boxing seem to be very lenient in comparison to other sports, especially when you consider the risks fighters take in the ring.
A PED user has the potential to seriously damage an opponent, adding an extra layer of complexity in boxing that may not be present in many sports. In any case, one would suggest that the authorities need to have a serious rethink around the punishments they hand out.