One of Namibia’s most accomplished professional boxers is in hot water after testing positive for banned steroids during an international title bout in Windhoek in September 2013.
New Era Sport has been reliably informed that veteran boxer Harry Simon, who boasts an incredibly impressive CV in the paid ranks, has been caught with his pants down and could be stripped of his belt with the result to be annulled.
The Namibian boxing icon defeated Geard Ajetovic on points during the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) International Light Heavyweight title bout at the packed to the rafters Ramatex Hall in Windhoek.
Vice-President of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), the presiding body over doping, Abner Xoagub, confirmed the offence that could effectively end the flagging career of the undefeated veteran boxer.
“Since we are not equipped with an adequate testing laboratory we did the tests before the bout and submitted them to the South African National Control Laboratory at the University of the Free State for assessment.
“Sadly, the results came back positive. They were submitted to the relevant authorities, in this case, the Namibia Professional Control Board, for further action, ” says Xoagub.
Approached for comment, Simon pleaded ignorance but was quick to lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of external forces that are apparently out to tarnish his reputation.
“I don’t know what you are talking about and even up to now, nothing has been communicated to me yet, either from the boxing federation or the Olympic committee. You can even call the boxing federation and ask. Why should this only crop up now when the fight already took place more than a year ago,” said Simon.
Secretary General of the Namibian Boxing Federation (NBF) Joe Kaperu sought to downplay the issue but when alerted about the severity and dire consequences of such a deed, he suddenly changed his tune and admitted receiving a letter from the NNOC in that regard.
“Yes we are currently dealing with the case but only on a small-scale basis since our primary obligation is just to summon the accused for a hearing to present his case. Once we complete the process, it will be forwarded to the NNOC for appropriate action.”
Sources with intimate knowledge within the NBF let it slip that a hearing did take place, adding that the boxer ostensibly admitted guilt for the usage of the yet to be identified performance-enhancing drug.
It has become customary practice for athletes caught in the act to deny any wrongdoing, until their denials are proven to the contrary. A case in reference is that of disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong, who vehemently denied his prolonged doping antics and even went to the extent of suing his accusers until he was finally cornered before admitting guilt.
Athletes convicted of doping could face a minimum of a four-year ban under new rules that came into effect this month.
Changes to the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also carry a jail term of more than three years for offenders. The new rules are strongly believed to have the clout to better protect clean athletes around the world.
Courtesy New Era