Francois Botha: 'I will have a drug test in South Africa
and I will ask for the results in 24 hours, and then I will
make it known to the world.' Photo Getty
Francois Botha has confirmed he underwent a drug test
before fighting Sonny Bill Williams but disputed its validity
and has offered to take another test to prove his innocence.
Williams' victory over Botha in Brisbane on Friday night has
been tarnished by allegations of match-fixing and doping,
with Botha reportedly failing a pre-fight test for
The South African's urine sample reportedly contained traces
of a banned stimulant and a banned sedative, but Botha
yesterday categorically denied doping.
"Why would I go and do this crazy stuff?" he said on Campbell
Live. "To go drink something that makes you sleepy, that you
can't open your eyes, that lowers your blood pressure. What
the hell is that?"
With boxers competing in the state of Queensland not required
to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs, there was some
doubt whether Botha was even subject to a test.
The 44-year-old did not dispute that he had a test but
implied a family member of Khoder Nasser, Williams' manager,
had tampered with his sample.
"The thing that bothers me about this whole thing, is that
Khoder Nasser's brother or family member was the person who
admitted the drug test," Botha said. "He took my sample."
Nasser laughed off that accusation on Campbell Live and said
Botha was doing a "great job" of drumming up interest in the
fight and a potential rematch.
"The pathology company is a very reputable pathology company
in Australia. Francois has a history with these things and
Francois has a history of turning words and scenarios around.
"If he wants to validate himself why doesn't he go get a
reputable South African urine examination and come out with
those papers? Why didn't he do that immediately?"
Botha said he would take Nasser up on his offer as soon as
"I will have a drug test in South Africa and I will ask for
the results in 24 hours, and then I will make it known to the
Meanwhile, Williams' next fight may not feature the 'pick the
round' betting option, the TAB decided today.
Williams' unanimous points victory prompted a storm of
controversy surrounding the length of the bout, with the
scheduled 12 rounds cut to 10.
The TAB was forced to refund all 'pick the round' bets and,
after meeting today, announced it would hold the right to
remove the betting option on any future boxing matches.
"We'll have to take into account who's fighting, who's
promoting, what's the title, what's the belt," said TAB head
bookmaker Mark Stafford. "There's a lot of hearsay and
speculation but, until we're presented with all the facts in
front of us, we can't make a decision.
"By and large, boxing's fine. It's just when there's a few
anomalies that could come up where we'll have to be
Those anomalies have cropped up in three of Williams' six
professional fights, a track record Stafford agreed was "not
good". But he said the TAB would be remiss to remove the
option entirely, considered its popularity and the interest
Williams continues to generate.
"You could argue he's probably one of our most popular sports
people currently. He creates huge amounts of interest, and
even if he was fighting again this weekend people would want
to bet on it. So we've got to provide a product our customers
The new proviso will not be tested by Williams until the end
of the year at the earliest, with his return to rugby league
with the Sydney City Roosters taking precedence for now.
- Kris Shannon of APNZ