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Ryan Garcia and the B sample

OF all the strange and shocking things that Ryan Garcia did before, during and after his fight with Devin Haney last month, perhaps the most strange and shocking was the meeting he arranged with former US President Donald Trump during his fight victory.

A natural meeting of the minds, this union came before the news came out that Garcia had failed a test for the performance-enhancing drug ostarine before the fight and, on another level, should have highlighted the way Garcia became famous, the latest so-called face of boxing. , then it was. Little did we know, however, there were still more twists in Ryan Garcia’s story.

Now, a few weeks later, we’re looking at that Trump rally as not only bringing together egoists but also talking about what the two men stand for. Chronic tweeters, a couple of them, both use social media as a storytelling tool perhaps hoping that their version of a particular story will stick and not be diluted by something that doesn’t bother them, to them, like facts, truth, or evidence. For Trump, the acceptance of the post-truth world was done on the largest scale, while in the case of Garcia, someone similarly inclined, his attempt to control the narrative was on a much smaller scale yet relevant. and interesting to witness.

It all started in the old conspiracy way. What it says: Garcia, an impressionable, impressionable 25-year-old, has gathered a lot of like-minded people with a distrust of authority, a desire to stick with the man, and a tendency to say, all the time, “It makes you think, doesn’t it?” By agreeing with this motley crew, Garcia was able to cultivate a ready-made army of internet fans, readers, people who would stick with him through thick and thin and challenge the powers that be if the powers that be ever tried to mess with him. or underestimate his success.

When this inevitably happened following the Haney fight, Garcia, as planned, had his army ready to defend his right to a fair trial. In addition, Garcia, because of how open he was on social media, and how open he was it continues being on social media, he was ready to fight his corner, shout louder than anyone else, and proclaim his innocence in his own unique and ironic style.

He was helped, too, by the constant desire of those who reported his failed tests – one on April 19, the other on April 20 – to revive people on social media and therefore cooperate with Garcia’s followers and, in some cases, with Garcia himself. This, of course, does no one any good, especially when a procedure is involved. And it did not benefit anyone to speculate that Garcia had, in addition to being flagged for ostarine, and was found with traces of 19-norandrosterone, a banned steroid, in one of his tests, which required further testing. After all, when, on May 8, it was reported that in fact there was no such second drug, 19-norandrosterone, the story was definitely rewritten as a “victory” for Garcia, and Garcia himself was happy to accept this development. and spin it as a Story. Like any boxer in trouble, the Californian has always been ready to pounce on a mistake or technicality like an outspoken housewife. Therefore, when he was given it, he was quick to inform all his followers that he was “absolved” from any evil.

Ryan Garcia (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)

That was completely untrue. It was true, of course, that it was reported that he was removed from using that particular drug, 19-norandrosterone, but that does not count the presence of ostarine in Garcia’s system (at 6 ng / ml 60 times more than New York. The permissible limit of State Athletic Commission), and do nothing to clear the big cloud that hangs over him right now.

Ideally, all of this would have been handled better, by the censors and the media, and we wouldn’t have avoided a blow-by-blow, tweet-by-tweet account of the trial. But alas, this is where we find ourselves in 2024, everything is open to interpretation and someone is always trying to spin a thread or just bend the narrative to fit their point of view. In the context of PEDs in boxing, we have recently seen an increase in this type of behavior, especially with Conor Benn and Alycia Baumgardner, both of whom use social media to try to convince themselves or others of their innocence, often to no avail. real base or whatever. Scared, it seemed, of silence, or the belief that silence was a sign of guilt, both Benn and Baumgardner worked, worked harder than ever, and thought it was enough to tell you they were innocent rather than wait for legal proceedings. playing outside.

For some, this was really enough. If you like a boxer, for example, or need them to fight, a declaration of innocence, combined with a poorly written statement and a basic motivational statement, was enough to turn the cheeks and nothing else was said. However, by giving boxers this level of power, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds when it comes to PEDs in sports.

If you ask me, the B sample is guilty. It’s not Ryan Garcia’s B sample (which confirmed today what we already knew). Not a Conor Benn B sample. Not even a B sample for any boxer in particular. I just say sample B as a concept; sample B as an open door and space to talk and the opportunity for these stories to be processed and released by busy journalists and others who benefit from boxing being in the headlines.

For sample B, in the end, it’s just a MacGuffin. It sounds important but ultimately means very little. It’s just a distraction, a diversion, a nuisance. It gives the boxers, those who are caught, an opportunity to buy time, gather support, distort the narrative, and claim something secret, and then make a complete mockery of a strong bond. In addition, the culture of the B sample, a series that is now played out publicly, has made boxers “not guilty” unless proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they intentionally took a performance-enhancing drug or, in what would be a world first, actually caught. raise their hands and confess their wickedness.

That, in an already wild, ambiguous and dangerous game, can never be a good thing.

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