Rios No Grande

By Robert Ecksel on December 13, 2013
Rios No Grande
Bam Bam tested positive for methylexanamine, a drug on boxing’s pharmacological hit list.

Brandon Rios, hot on the heels of the pounding he suffered in Macau on Nov. 23, failed his post-fight drug test.

The fight against Manny Pacquiao was Bam Bam’s first fight at welterweight. It was also the biggest fight of his career. By fighting at a higher weight, and with the addition of nutrition guru Alex Ariza in his corner, the problems he experienced in the past when it came to making weight were supposedly a thing of the past.

But Rios proved that the past is the present and regrettably may be the future. He tested positive for methylexanamine, a stimulant used in dietary supplements and one of the drugs on boxing’s pharmacological hit list.

Rios did pass the four VADA-administered tests prior to the fight, but his botched post-fight urine test suggests a lack of professionalism on his part, no less than on the part of his trainer Robert Garcia and kickboxing star Ariza.

“There was a little something in his urine after the fight,” said Bam Bam’s promoter Bob Arum. “It was something they reported to the Chinese commission after the fight. It wasn’t a steroid. It was probably something he took to make weight.”

It’s a good thing it wasn’t a steroid since Rios’ performance, however courageous, would have given steroids a bad (or even worse) name.

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  1. MNboxingFAN - Sean 06:41pm, 12/15/2013

    The latest I’ve read now is that the chinese commision has issued a 5 month suspension of Rios in China.  Considering he probably won’t ever visit China again let alone fight there means that their suspension is pointless.  The question now is whether Rios will be suspended here in the States?

    Unfortunately the chinese commission didn’t state the findings of their post fight drug test.  They simply stated they received VADA’s findings and based of that they are issuing the suspension. 

    Rios was quoted in a yahoo article as stating that he passed the chinese drug test.  I’m not sure if that’s accurate of if he’s assuming that.  Considering he and Garcia said they weren’t even aware of the failed VADA drug test everything is suspect.  (VADA apparently produced evidence that they notified Rios and his team however along with their findings which were given to the chinese commision.)

    I haven’t heard anything more about the video from the Maidana vs Broner fight where is appears Ariza is giving Maidana something between rounds.  Hope to hear more on that soon.

    The best article cataloging the Rios failed drug test that I’ve found so far is on  I don’t ever go there, but was googling it and it led me there.  Good piece.  I prefer this website for my daily boxing reads though along with a couple others.  Regardless check it out for a good breakdown.

    Anyways thanks Pete.  If anyone else hears anything chime in.  I find this whole thing very interesting.

  2. Pete The Sneak 05:27pm, 12/15/2013

    MNboxingfan, that’s a very good and interesting post…Does make you wonder…Peace.

  3. MNboxingFAN - Sean 04:54pm, 12/15/2013

    Giving steroids a bad name?  Uh… like James Toney did?  He was busted and wasn’t even in shape when he used them. 

    I’ve been looking at videos and reading articles the past few days trying to figure out how Rios could have tested positive for methylexanamine?  Garcia claims they didn’t even know Rios failed the test.  VADA says they sent a letter.  (Seems to me they could have at least called, but whatever.)  Then post Pacquiao fight you have the story of how Rios gave a urine sample to the thrown together chinese commission (which there has been no word from on whether Rios passed their test) and couldn’t pee again for VADA. 

    So they had someone follow Rios around until he could pee, but when it was time the representative apparently didn’t have a urine sample cup?!?  Hard to believe.  However that’s the story from Ariza and Garcia. 

    If Rios’ sample comes back positive from the Chinese “commission” (which really isn’t a commission, but that’s neither here nor there) he’s done and going to get suspended.  Other athletes have been suspended recently for violating drug testing for the very same chemical “methylexanamine”.  Titles have been stripped and multiple year suspensions have been given so this could hit Rios hard.  Casting doubt on how VADA collected the sample was smart, but if VADA can prove they notified Rios camp of the failed test and show a signed receipt of some kind from the collection of the post fight sample… then Rios and his team don’t have a leg to stand on.  Even if the sample was collected improperly.  If that was the case they would refuse to sign such a receipt, etc.

    If Rios passed his chinese test we’re going to see blow back against VADA and it could be a setback for fighters trying to clean up the sport by using them for random drug testing.  At the very least some reform will come out of it. 

    Now to throw gasoline on the fire a video has hit the internet today (I saw it on ... I know… nice name right?  I don’t get it, but whatever.) and it shows strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza giving Maidana something between rounds.  Some say it was smelling salts.  Others say it was P.E.D.‘s.  The questions and accusations continue to fly, but one thing is for sure.  Two fights in a row Ariza has been under the microscope and it can’t be good for him.  Thankfully for him Garcia and even Schaefer have stood by him.  Bob Arum hasn’t and blames him for Rios failed test, but time will tell and we’ll see in anything amounts from any of it… or if the dust settles and fight game moves on. 

    I really wish HBO or Showtime would do a special series on boxing and drug testing.  Cover the past and don’t shy away from the scandals. 

    Talk about how offenders are still in the game today!  Mosley and Conte, etc.  Then highlight where we could do better.  Whether that’s a National commission or whatever.  Interview prominent fighters and trainers and see what they think. 

    Show what’s happening today and the organizations out there and which fighters are using them, etc.  Then also talk about their limitations honestly.  How people like Lance Armstrong can be tested more then any other athlete in the world and still NEVER test positive?!?  Meaning the setbacks… adding in cost, etc.  and why commissions and promoters don’t want them.  Why state commissions don’t want them and why some do.  Why it’s mandatory in the amateurs, but not the pros?

    I won’t hold my breath though.  Boxing doesn’t like to air it’s dirty laundry.  Regardless I’m going to continue to look into this and keep digging on the Rios, Maidana, and Ariza stuff that’s going on.  For boxings sake I’m hoping none of this is true and they’re both clean and Ariza isn’t up to anything.

  4. The Fight Film Collector 07:15pm, 12/13/2013

    I have no idea what the laws are in China for steroid use.  I was just thinking, if the fight had been held in North Korea, and under their high standards of fairness, Rios may have been returned as cargo.

  5. Don from Prov 06:58pm, 12/13/2013


    Bam Bam is a car crash in the waiting

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