George Groves has called for fighters found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs to be banned for life.
British Olympian Muhammad Ali received a two-year ban on Tuesday having tested positive for anabolic steroid Trenbolone.
He argued he may have eaten contaminated meat while in Morocco for the World Series of Boxing last April, but with Ali becoming the latest fighter to fail a drugs test, Groves has called for more severe punishments given the potential consequences involved in boxing.
Next weekend against Chris Eubank Jnr, Groves fights for the third time since his defeat of Eduard Gutknecht left the German with a serious brain injury and unable to walk or talk.
One of his stablemates, Erik Skoglund, also recently woke from a medically-induced coma after suffering a bleed on the brain, and the 29-year-old Groves said: “If you are doping you shouldn’t be allowed to compete again.
“We know it’s rife in sport: we know it. People turn a blind eye to it. You can probably name half-a-dozen fighters who have tested positive at some point and are now still boxing.
“Depending on the severity of what you test positive for: you can just make a mistake, (but) you should still be careful of it, conscious of it.
“If people are taking drugs in boxing, that’s a serious problem. It’s unethical: you can permanently hurt someone, which is disgusting. How can you live with yourself if you’ve cheated, and that’s happened?
“If you do it in a running race over 100m and you beat someone, yeah, you’ve hurt their livelihood, but you haven’t physically hurt them. There should be tougher sentences for fighters who abuse the rules.”
Groves’ participation in the super-middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series means he is regularly being tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and he continued: “They do random testing as well as on-the-night testing. I’m also still part of UKAD, who are used by the British Boxing Board of Control. They can show up whenever as well.
“Sometimes I’ve been at the gym and they’re at my house. WADA will travel to you, or if you say you’re 15 minutes from home they’ll just wait for you to come in, and they don’t leave your side until you’re tested.
“Even if you’ve finished the fight and you get taken to hospital, they’re supposed to go with you, wait, and then test you to make sure that you’re clean.
“We moan about it, it’s a pain in the backside, but if that’s the only way to prevent people from cheating, then it’s worth its weight.
“Each should be judged on its own, but if you are intentionally taking performance-enhancing drugs, then ethically it’s wrong.
“I don’t know if it’s criminal, but each case should be on its own merit. Say they ban painkillers and you’ve taken a paracetemol the day before and you test positive, I don’t see that as performance-enhancing, but if you’re taking a steroid to improve your boxing, then that’s so wrong.”