SA boxing promoter defends Lerena in doping storm

Kevin Lerena (left) and Rodney Berman (Gallo)
Kevin Lerena (left) and Rodney Berman (Gallo)

Cape Town - Top South African boxing promoter Rodney Berman has jumped to the defence of boxer Kevin Lerena who has been accused of doping.

The Voluntary Anti-Doping Society (VADA) - an organisation that works with the World Boxing Council on the Clean Boxing Programme - reportedly returned a positive test from Lerena last month. 

The WBC tweeted the news, with little detail, on Wednesday. 

Lerena has since come out defending himself and denying the charges, and he seems to have support in the form of Berman, who defended the current IBO World Cruiserweight champion with a strongly-worded message to VADA. 

"What is most perturbing, however, is the fact that without affording Mr Lerena the benefit of a prior explanation, you have insensitively and unfairly made your findings public, which can only cause damage to Mr Lerena’s good name and reputation," Berman was quoted as saying on the Golden Gloves website in a letter to VADA president Margaret Goodman.

"In the circumstances a public apology would be appropriate with the same exposure and in the same media as your report was published.

Berman also included a letter from Dr Harry Papagapiou, Lerena’s orthopaedic surgeon, detailing his extensive post-operative medication following shoulder surgery.

"The reality is that Kevin’s not in training. What would he be doping for? As a layman, it’s quite obviously an error - possibly one he shouldn’t have made – but an error nonetheless. He doesn’t deserve to have his career tarnished this way," Berman added.  

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