When asked if he had sponsored Donaire’s VADA testing, Conte told Maxboxing.com, “The answer is yes. I have given sponsorship donations for VADA testing of Nonito Donaire and other athletes including B.J. Penn, Andre Berto and Roy Nelson. I also routinely make donations to my church and other organizations with good causes and I will continue to do so. I strongly believe in VADA’s mission and methods that help protect the health and safety of combat sport athletes. There was a time when my poor choices contributed to the rampant use of drugs in sport and I feel that my sponsorship donations now serve as small form of restitution.”
Conte and Donaire met in San Carlos in 2010 and began working together at the nearby Undisputed Boxing Gym. The two were successful for seven fights. However in March, just before Donaire’s April fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux, Conte announced he was no longer working with Donaire. Conte’s sponsorship immediately ended with the fight just three weeks away. However, Donaire’s VADA testing contract ended in late-July.
Following the split in March, Donaire issued a statement to this writer that he would continue doing VADA testing despite parting ways with his sponsor.
“Regardless of the current standing of my relationship with Victor, I will still be actively enrolling myself in VADA and subjecting myself to 24/7/365 drug testing,” Donaire told Maxboxing.com at the time.
According to VADA President Dr. Margaret Goodman, anyone can sponsor a fighter’s testing. In his fight this year with Ruslan Provodnikov, Tim Bradley paid for both fighters to enter the program. Floyd Mayweather has paid for himself and his opponents to be tested by USADA in fights dating back to May of 2010. MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre is also in VADA, offering to pay for himself and his opponent, Johnny Hendricks, who passed on joining the program.
Donaire set a new standard with VADA for anti-doping testing in boxing by becoming the first athlete to enter a year-round program. Donaire’s personal stand against doping in sport set an example for athletes around the world and was a large part of why he was voted 2012’s “Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Since entering VADA’s 24/7/365 program on July 8, 2012, he has undergone three fights with VADA testing.
Donaire was contacted by VADA in August and informed his first year of testing had been complete and that re-enrollment, complete with fees, would be necessary in order to continue the program.
According to Dr. Goodman late Monday night, Donaire has now begun the re-enrollment process for yet another year of 24/7/365 testing. Donaire will be paying for it himself.
Please visit our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.