The Effect Of Substance Abuse In Boxing


Over the past several years, these articles submitted by the Gila County Meth Coalition have covered the varied high-profile cases of people in the entertainment and sports fields involved with drugs and alcohol abuse. It really shouldn’t come as any surprise or shock that the boxing industry has now been singled out as the next forum for fallen heroes.

Just last month, boxing great Oscar De La Hoya entered a rehab program for substance abuse. According to the article, depression, drugs and alcohol use has been prevalent in boxing for many, many years. Considering the nature of the sport that is not a surprising statement.

A number of top contenders have fallen victim to the lure of drugs and alcohol, especially after retiring from the ring. The lifestyle, training and fan adulation decreases significantly after retirement, so athletes who have given their all to their chosen career suddenly find themselves somewhat adrift and looking to fill the void. All too often that includes substance abuse.

Drugs have become so much a standard that earlier this decade the Michigan Boxing Commission was accused of covering up the fact that Mike Tyson (remember him?) tested positive for marijuana. That particular fight did commence; however, the after the fight consequences were a suspension from ever fighting in Michigan again. Other states honored that suspension.

Mike Tyson went overseas to continue his career. He was in and out of trouble and jail throughout his career and though he remains a public figure, his past is somewhat checkered. Tyson currently lives somewhere in the Phoenix metro area, making him a “local” celebrity, of sorts.

Drug abuse is not exclusive to the United States. Last month an ex boxing champion in Great Britain was arrested along with his mum for possession of cocaine and running a cannabis (marijuana plant) farm.

Mr. Mitchell is still fighting and currently contemplating going after another title, but that aspiration may have to be put on hold with his arrest.

Some boxing officials have recommended that the industry institute a drug testing regimen similar to what the Olympics use. That may be a future consideration, but in the meantime its business as usual.

However that policy is particularly hard on those who do cross-sports. Tim Zibkowski, an NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens is having a difficult time pursuing his summer career in the boxing field because he tested positive for drugs just last week. A subsequent test came up negative, but now he has to fight a 45-day suspension, which would put him close to NFL training camp time. That situation is one for sports enthusiasts to watch.

Of course, the best course of action in any sport or life career is to “Just Say No.” Then there will be no question, period!


Don’t use, abuse or be confused!

For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition contact chair Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator Misty Cisneros, (928) 425-1879; or media liaison Lu DuBois, (928) 425-4440.

Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition


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