A bitter exchange of doping accusations has emerged, with boxer Salimu Chazama claiming that new national lightweight champion, Crispin Moliyati, defeated him recently by allegedly using banned substances.
Following the defeat on a unanimous points decision in Lilongwe the previous Sunday, Chazama took to the social media to accuse Moliyati of using juju and prohibited drugs to win the contest.
“He use[d] drugs, but I use my power from God. Ndadziwa chili chonse [I am aware of everything],” Chazama posted on his Whatsapp group ‘Team Chazama’ in direct reference to Moliyati.
The post attracted comments from sympathizers and the opposing camp. Unlicensed promoter-cum-matchmaker, Steve Mawenzi Msiska, who watched the bill, said reports that some boxers use drugs were rife before the bout.
“It was agreed that both boxers should go for a test. The ringside doctor agreed, but later changed the tune, saying he was not certified and had no equipment to test the boxers,”Msiska said.
Another well-known figure in the boxing circles, Mike Chitenje, who also watched the bill, claimed that the performance of some boxers was questionable.
“We need to be watchful; otherwise, we will throw the sport to the dogs. I have a strong belief that some boxers used illegal drugs because their performance was not normal. They were supposed to be tested,” he said.
On Thursday, Chazama said he was seeking a rematch, claiming that he had evidence that his opponent used banned substances.
“He was not [like] the same guy I used to beat easily. I was releasing my hooks and jabs that threw the likes of Osgood Kayuni to the canvas, but he never went down,” said the 22-year-old Chazama, whose record is 19 wins and four losses.
Moliyati has since denied the allegations, while accusing Chazama and his camp of being jealous. The new 26-year-old champion’s record is 27 wins, two draws and four defeats.
“I am clean and I don’t use drugs. That day, I came with a different technique and that is why I out-boxed him. He was expecting that I would continue with my hit-and-run stance. I changed and I was always charging at him,” Moliyati explained.
“If the case is about drugs, then the authorities should investigate him. He always struggles when he goes abroad. I am told that it is so because he doesn’t use drugs when he goes there.”
No Pain No Gain Boxing Promotions managing director, Craig Rousseau, who owns Moliyati and organised the bill jointly, accused Chazama of being a bad loser.
“In the first place, he should not call for a rematch but challenge for the title after three months. My boxer is clean. He [Chazama] did not expect it. If my camp was using drugs, how come the rest of the boxers, including Anisha Basheer, Nicola Muntunora, Limbani Masamba, lost on the day,” Rousseau argued.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president, Lonzoe Zimba, said they had summoned both camps for a hearing today.
“We have been following the issue through the social media. We are equally disturbed,” he said, adding that after the hearing they would submit a report to Malawi Anti-Doping Organisation (Mado).
Mado board chairperson, James Mwenda, while confirming that they were following up on doping reports following reservations from some concerned quarters, refused to speculate.
“Much as we expect tips, we don’t just react on hearsay,” he said, adding that local laboratories are not licensed to conduct doping tests.
Mwenda said Mado is empowered to collect samples and send them to licensed laboratories in South Africa.
According to Mado, so far Malawi appears clean after 13 athletes drawn from football, netball and boxing underwent tests and the results were negative.
Recently, tennis star, Maria Sharapova, admitted using a banned substance unknowingly. The athletics world has also been hit by doing allegations especially in countries such as Russia and Kenya.