Former four division world champion Nonito Donaire told TSS on Tuesday that he was happy to continue year round advanced PED testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) despite recently losing sponsorship with the organization.
“Victor Conte was my main sponsor and gave sponsorship donations to VADA for my year round testing,” said Donaire. “When we parted ways, he made it clear that he was no longer financing my testing, and I would have to make contributions on my own to have myself tested.”
Conte, the reformed BALCO PED peddler who now serves as an anti-doping advocate, worked as a Donaire’s advisor and nutritionist until the two split last March. Conte confirmed to MaxBoxing.com’s Gabriel Montoya he helped fund Donaire’s year round VADA testing, something that was previously undisclosed.
“I have given sponsorship donations for VADA testing of Nonito Donaire and other athletes including B.J. Penn, Andre Berto and Roy Nelson,” Conte told Montoya. “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.”
Despite the break with Conte, Donaire said VADA continued sponsoring him for the rest of the year.
“Even though Victor pulled the finances, VADA kept to our contract and kept me enrolled until my full year was completed in August. At that point, I had to make a decision whether to continue in the program and pay for myself, or drop out. It was a no brainer for me. I stand for what VADA stands for, and I believe in the direction of Dr. Margaret Goodman. Continuing this can only be positive in ensuring a safe, level playing field for all athletes. Hopefully, more athletes of all sports will follow suit.”
Goodman told TSS she was happy to have Donaire enrolled in the program.
“Nonito's stance against PEDs is unparalleled, and VADA is proud to have worked with the only athlete (that we are aware of) to ever volunteer for stringent 24/7/365 PED testing,” said Goodman.