At 40 years of age, Juan Manuel Marquez seems to have found the fountain of youth with the way he’s fought in the last two years. Because instead of looking like a “leaving legend”, Marquez has looked like a prospect in his prime.

During the official weigh in for his May 17th fight against Mike Alvarado, Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) expert Victor Conte saw something “very alarming.” In his Twitter account, Conte asked this question: ” Does boxing know that elevated testosterone levels in teen males can cause acne?” Conte was referring to the presence of acne on the chest of Marquez.

Doping Scandal

If there’s anybody who knows much about doping in sports, it is Victor Conte. Conte is the founder and president of the BALCO sports nutrition clinic in California. BALCO was accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of developing the banned steroid tetrahydrogestrinone with the help of a bodybuilding chemist named Patrick Arnold.

Conte later admitted to aiding trackstar Marion Jones and her partner Tim Montgomery in a doping program that broke Olympic records. In 2005, Conte entered into a guilty plea to one count of distributing steroids and another count of laundering a check. Conte spent four months in prison and four months on house arrest.

After prison, Conte has remained clean and has devoted his time to the research and development of new legal sports supplements. He continues to work with athletes and his current stable of boxers include Nonito Donaire Jr and Zab Judah.


Many have noticed the sudden bulk and power of Juan Manuel Marquez, especially during his fourth fight against Manny Pacquiao. During their first three fights, Marquez continually peppered Pacman with his brilliant counter punching. But there was never a point when he had Pacquiao wobbling. But in the 3rd round of the fourth bout, a looping overhand right surprisingly knocked down the stocky Pacquiao.

Pacquiao had previously battled with Barrera, Morales, Hatton, Cotto and Margarito among others, but he had not been knocked down. Marquez completed the “dinamita” performance by putting Pacquiao to sleep with a right counter at the end of round 6.

PEDs in Boxing

Conte Tweeted that Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Golden Boy’s Richard Schaeffer are both “enabling and promoting rampant PED use in boxing.” Conte added that there has been “no random drug testing”  in the major fights of 2014 and that the Nevada commission drug testing is  “a joke.”  He pointed out to the Marquez vs Alvarado fight as an example. Conte also said that “boxing promoters do not have a genuine interest in clean sport.” because it is “all about the money.”

HBO’s Max Kellerman also voiced out his insinuations on Marquez. Kellerman said that he gets cynical when he sees a guy who gets faster as he gets older. Kellerman added that there is always suspicion when a modern day athlete performs differently when he reaches an advanced stage. Kellerman opined that this was the case after the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 bout because Marquez looked bigger and stronger than ever.

Juicing Up

Pacquiao also had his share of PED issues when he rose from the lower weights to beat up bigger guys like De La Hoya, Cotto and Margarito. Pacquiao always denied this and defended that he always followed the standards required by the sanctioning Athletic commissions which Conte now says are shams.

It can be recalled that during the first negotiations for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in 2009, random drug testing was the main reason why the talks fell off. To Pacquiao’s credit however, he was never proven to be  juiced up.

The Marquez camp has not given their side on the issue. While it remains to be seen what Conte’s motives are for the series of tweets on PEDs and boxing. But Conte has a point when he said that he hopes that random drug testing will become the standard for elite boxers in the near future.  Because these promoters and fighters make millions of dollars from the betting and viewing public. And if Conte is correct, then boxing could lose this fight via knockout.

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