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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Ryan Garcia’s PED Positive Latest in Long Line of Erratic Behavior

  • Garcia tested positive for ostarine, which helps build muscle, cut fat, and improve stamina and recovery.
  • He denied the allegations on social media.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Garcia’s 12-round upset victory against Devin Haney in April may be coming with an asterisk. 

According to ESPN, Garcia, 25, tested positive for ostarine, a banned substance, the day before and of his bout with Haney. The announcement came in a letter sent Wednesday by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. 

The samples were taken before the fight, but the results weren’t known until recently. Garcia came into the fight three pounds overweight and floored Haney three times to win by a majority decision. By fighting overweight, Garcia forfeited $600,000 of his purse and was ineligible to win the title, which is why Haney retained his welterweight title despite the loss. 

Haney made an additional $1.5 million from Garcia after betting in the fight’s press conference that his opponent would miss weight. He sought $500,000 per pound and got it. 

Garcia’s victory could be overturned unless his B-sample comes back negative, which is uncommon but not unheard of. He has 10 days to request a test on his B-sample. According to ESPN, Garcia’s A-sample also contained 19-norandrosterone, which, like ostarine, is a banned anabolic agent.

Garcia denied the allegations with a video message. 

“Everybody knows that I don’t cheat,” Garcia said in the post. “Never taken a steroid. … I don’t even know where to get steroids. … I barely take supplements. Big lies, I beat his ass.”

Haney disagreed. 

“We learned about this situation not too long ago and it’s unfortunate Ryan cheated and disrespected both the fans and the sport of boxing by fighting dirty and breaking positive not once, but twice,” Haney said in a statement to ESPN.

“Ryan owes the fans an apology, and by his recent tweet he still thinks this is a joke. We put our lives on the line to entertain people for a living. You don’t play boxing. This puts the fight in a completely different light. Despite the disadvantage, I still fought on my shield and got back up! People die in this sport. This isn’t a joking matter.”

In a statement, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions said it was working with Garcia’s team on the matter. 

“Ryan has put out multiple statements denying knowingly using any banned substances—and we believe him,” Golden Boy said in the statement.

The doping test, if accurate, marks the latest in a long line of erratic behavior by Garcia.

In January, he announced he was getting divorced, and he has been open about his struggles with mental health over the years. His social media posts raised eyebrows in the weeks leading up to the fight, which led boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to speculate Garcia was going through a mental health crisis. 

“In the ring, I’m gonna beat your ass,” Garcia posted on Instagram before the fight. “You thought I wasn’t gonna make it to the fight. I bet you hoped I would’ve got pulled out. I bet you hoped it was some kind of mental health issues.”

On April 16, Garcia said in an Instagram video he was cleared to fight after going through a mandatory drug test and mental health evaluation by the New York State Athletic Commission. 

“I proved to everybody that I don’t do drugs. I’m perfect,” Garcia said in the video. “I’m perfectly fine. I’ve been evaluated. I had a meeting with the state commission. I don’t understand why people continue to judge me so hard. I’m just having fun.”

That same day, Garcia and Haney were pulled from throwing out the first pitch at a Mets game after they got into a scuffle atop the Empire State Building while promoting the fight. 

After beating Haney on April 20 at Barclays Center, Garcia said he drank “every day” leading up to the fight. He’s also claimed to have pictures of aliens on his phone and endorsed right-wing conspiracy theories.  

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