Original Article: Max Boxing, Special to Doghouse Boxing
by Gabriel Montoya
December 15, 2012
Since July of 2012, Nonito Donaire, 30-1, 19 KOs, has been showing the boxing world he is a truly clean athlete. When the super bantamweight champion signed up to join to be the inaugural fighter in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s state-of-the-art 24/7/365 year-round anti-doping program, he began sending a message to the sport and to his fans that his in the ring accomplishments are all natural. Since that time, while no athlete has joined him in 24/7/365 VADA testing, some have joined VADA’s training camp testing in an attempt to display they are PED-free. In a year that has seen positive test results for performance enhancing drugs in combat sports occur at an alarming rate and state commissions not respond by upgrading their testing programs, Donaire’s near 6 month one man stand is a sign of hope through personal responsibility.
“Well for me, “I do it for my own reasons but it’s up to the boxing world,” Donaire told Maxboxing.com Thursday night via phone from Houston where he will defend his titles against Jorge Arce of Mexico on HBO. “It’s a great sport around the world. Perhaps the promoters should mandate it so that no one else can say no [to testing]. For me, it doesn't matter. I've always had the mentality that even if they're on [PEDs] I'm still going to beat them. They still bleed, they still break. And with the way I think and the way I fight and train, I can break them down."
From his fighting style which features a speed-based attack that is free flowing and unorthodox, incorporating start and stop footwork, explosive punches that come from odd angles, and switched stances, Donaire is his own creation; A mix of old and new school fighting and fitness philosophies.
A Filipino-American who makes his home in Northern California’s Bay Area with his lovely wife Rachel, Donaire doesn’t take a typical approach to the fight game. It is this independent spirit that has brought him together with an interesting group of men who all serve a unique role at various times during his 11 year win streak (he lost in his second fight back in 2001).
One member of the team who has had a profound effect yet brought a cloud of suspicion to Donaire is Victor Conte. Following a chance meeting with nutritionist/anti-doping advocate Conte at a bank, Donaire’s mind opened to new ways to expand his athletic potential. The two agreed to work together.
Conte, who runs SNAC (Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning), a sports nutrition supplement company in the Bay Area, is likely best known as the founder of BALCO, which was implicated in supplying illegal undetectable performance enhancing drugs to high level athletes during a 4 year period from 2000-2003.
However, for 15 years prior to that period, Conte’s company helped athletes reach a higher level of performance level legally and above all intelligently. Using in-depth blood analysis to determine nutrition status plus monitoring liver, kidney, and heart functions to determine proper hydration and appropriate supplementation, Conte and his team developed personalized nutrition programs for their athletes.
Since the moment Conte came clean on national television in 2004 to present day, he has done his best to promote what he calls the new school of strength and conditioning methods and educate the sports world on the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. A non-stop anti-doping advocate who is arguably the movement’s most vocal member, Conte’s greatest love is being in the trenches and helping athletes get to the next a higher level of performance.
He and Donaire hit it off immediately.
Soon after they met, Donaire began to work with Conte at the Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, CA. It was there that Conte joined strength coach Michael Bazzel and primary trainer Brian Schwartz, to help Donaire go from title holder to a unified champion undergoing the most stringent drug testing available.