I was super excited to make my first trip to the Verizon Center as a reporter. I have ventured their plenty of times as a fan, but I have been eager to take in the facility as a journalist.
The process did not start out easy. My media parking pass went missing for some reason, and after getting the 3rd degree from the evil parking attendant, I FINALLY made it into the arena. As I stated before, I have never been to the Verizon Center in this official capacity, so after obtaining my credential I truly had no clue where to go. I must have looked lost, because a hand lightly tapped me on the shoulder. I turn around, it's the entire Georgetown dance squad, giggling as they explained to me where to go.
It was an electrfying introduction to the Verizon Center. I had expected that I would be courtside, or behind the north basket, not so. I wac actually placed above one of the tunnels with the the Washington Post and the Newark star-ledger. It was epic to sit down next to some of the very voices I have read for years.
When I got the email to cover the George Mason women's basketball game, I was not sure what to expect. It has been awhile since I have covered an event as a journalist, and it had been never since I covered women's basketball. I have long been critical of the sport. I think it is a different sport then men's basketball entirely.
I figured going to the game would be a good educational experience for me and would give me a better understanding of the curent state of women's basketball in this country. At least a general idea. I did not expect much from this level of competition.
A big problem pundits have with women's college basketball is that the cream rises to the top to a fault. There is no parity, which plays into Geno Auriemma's dominance more then he would be willing to admit.
As I settled into my seat and took in the action, I realized that the trip had been worth my while. Delaware was up big when I arrived. They had built a double digit lead. It was surprising considering women's basketball is usually an even playing field at the mid level. Not this night.
Tonight I was introduced to Elena Delle Donne. She had already taken over the game by the time I sat down. I had heard rumors of a special basketball player brewing in the fighting blue hens womens program about a year ago. I was not the only one. Lebron James tweeted at her a year ago, some fans told me during a timeout. She is without question the best female basketball player I have ever seen in person. She is 6 foot 5, shoots out to three, has a well developed post game, and really can score from anywhere on the floor.
I also learned that Elena is 300 points away from 3,000 for her career! 3,000 career points in college basketball is the highest standard of excellence. I cannot think of of a more hallowed mark individually.
Elena is a scoring machine. She dropped 18 points in the first half like it was nothing, like she was passing gas. She treated the Mason players like children. I was late getting to the game so I had not had the chance to take a long look at her statistics. Elena is averaging 24 points a game, with just under 9 rebounds. She is shooting 49 percent from the field, and 49 percent from 3. Astonishing! She is a 91 percent free throw shooter. On defense, she has 43 blocks for the season.
Elena is projected to be a top 3 pick in the WNBA draft, which was interesting to me when the WNBA scout told me that. Elena is also a surefire player of the year candidate.
The Blue Hens are doing well as a team. They are the 18th ranked team in the country, and a threat to make a run to the Final Four. I was unaware of just how far the Blue Hens program had come. No doubt. No question. The Blue Hens are a ferociuos defensive team. They communicate at def com 5 in the half court defense. They have a strong coaching staff and good offensive distribution.
Elena continued her assault in the second half. Shooting threes, capitalizing at the free throw line, gobbling up rebounds. She put the game away in the second half by herself, and her teammates fed off it. Delaware is a scary team right now. Elena is the type of player that can control the game in so many ways, it is by no means far fetched that I was watching a Final Four team. A player like this makes everything possible.
The Blue Hens easily defeated the George Mason on the basketball floor, but not in the head coach's mind. She ripped her team a new bung hole after the game. We would hear her through the walls. She was killing her team, and this was not a five minute speech. Coach went on a 30 minute temper tantrum by the gathered media estimate. It started to wear on us however, because we were waiting FOREVER for the Deleware sports and information director to get the superstar and her coach to the press room to an annoyed group of reporters.
Elena carries herself with absolute grace. The utmost humility. She was highly impressive from a first person point of view. I listened to the dumbest questions ever before I was prompted to speak. My questions were in depth and to the point. Coach was visibly pissed off at her team, and answered my question to a tee. Elena sat there silent, and just watched. Smiling a devilish grin as I grilled coach, and made it clear that a 14 point victory is a 14 point victory.
I also asked coach if the George Mason guards accounting for 16 rebounds had anything to do with Mason winning the rebounding battle. I then turned my attention to Elena. She is already a professional. Her innocence is gone, dude. But it remains at the same time. She was very polite and eloquent when answering my questions, and you had every indication that she is prepared for the world to receiver her.
I then had the pleasure of speaking with her after the press conference. She carries herself like a champion. It was a fun meet and greet. Tune to the Facebook page for the contents of our conversation.
Pay attention to the NCAA Women's tournament, make sure you do not miss the WNBA Draft. Elena will almost certainly play for team USA and quickly become a worldwide figure. I felt sheepish leaving the arena because I had told myself this event would not be much of a story. I guess even the most skeptical freelancer can be wrong from time to time.
CJ Vick is the senior editor for SportsDebateRadio.com.
As our panel learned Thursday night, Susan Spencer pulls no punches.
Pioneer. Ground-breaker. Mold-breaker. With any and all of her statements, former Philadelphia Eagles general manager Susan T. Spencer pushes aside conventional gender stereotypes with the ease of Eagles fans going through turnstyles at the Linc.
"I was determined to disprove some of the stupid things they thought about what women could do and couldn't do."
Sports Debate Radio was fortunate to have Spencer as a guest on our show Thursday night, as she covered a gamut of topics from Randall Cunningham, to the possibility of NFL expansion to Europe, to succeeding in a predominantly man's world--an NFL front office. She did this all with a hard-nosed yet refreshing tell-it-like-it-is candor the likes of which Howard Cosell used to tirelessly brag about.
"I'm not looking to score any points because I don't have to," shoots Spencer. "I don't want anyone to hire me as a GM. No, I just want you to know the truth because I think its more interesting to know the truth than to try to be politically correct where it isn't the truth."
Politically correct, as well as predictable, are not words that describe her well, even when her gender is being put on blast. Before Spencer could be formally welcomed onto the show, host CJ Vick was picking the brain of our very own Pat Bruce Wayne, who opened matters with the distasteful odor of male chauvenism, one that Spencer is very well used to by now. Here is that unedited exchange:
CJ: Why do you think that there's only one woman in the history of the league who has been a general manager? Why is there only one Susan Spencer?
Pat: You know, you're really putting me on the spot here?
CJ: I am and you better watch it because I think she's in the queue.
Pat: I know, I know. You know what? I really have no clue. Football is a man's game that you certainly don't have any young daughters being brought up to learn the history of the gridiron, but obviously Miss Spencer is the one that broke the mold. I just don't think its something that's marketed towards girls--
CJ: Women, you mean.
Pat: ...or young women, I mean.
CJ: Yeah, there you go.
Pat: Women, that's marketed towards women and therefore women don't have a good understanding of the game. Now that was just such a very sexist statement, and I'm angry that you--
CJ: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. And you're lucky that Susan's not even on the queue, hold on. You mean to tell me that there's women in America, or that women by and large, don't understand the game of football? Because I can tell you some of the craziest football fans I know are girls, dude.
Pat: I would say there's a minority of women that have a great understanding of the game. But--
CJ: You would classify it as a minority, Pat? You would put it at that small a percentage of women that understand football?
Pat: You know what, CJ? Yes I would.
Pat: Women put on a Rob Gronkowski jersey, show up at the bar, stare at a TV that has a football game going on, and automatically think that they're John Madden. There you go, and then there's a small minority that actually knows what's going on.
CJ: And on that note, Pat Bruce Wayne, because there's a lot of women listening to you. You're making yourself famous right now. You're going Tupac hard on this subject, bro!
And just like that, Pat had stolen the spotlight and put a target on his back for all the female football fans of SDR to come forward and prove him wrong. Yet Spencer did not bristle one bit at these views when she was initially brought onto the show. Instead she put those views into perspective.
"A lot of women...follow football because they want to be cool, they want to be part of the group, they want to meet cool guys, and that's ok." Spencer conceded, "It's more social for them than it is being passionate. But there's lots of women who learned football from their dads or their brothers, who are dedicated to it and are passionate about it."
This was perhaps the part of the show that most resembled a lightning rod. Yet as Susan settled in to the interview, the listener quickly picks up the mix of intelligence, honesty and dogged tenacity in her tone that drove her to reach levels in an NFL front office that very few others (namely former Rams owner Georgia Frontiere and current Bears owner Virginia McCaskey) had.
Susan told of her father, Leonard Tose, who owned the Eagles from 1969 to 1985 but struggled to pay the bills. When Tose hired his daughter to be the team lawyer and told her not to worry about football, she repeatedly pointed out to him bad investments he was making. Then one day, her father called her into his office and sheepishly admitted he had fired the general manager so that she could take over as "acting general manager."
On President Obama's recent comments about the NFL being an unsafe sport. "That statement is relatively ridiculous...People wouldn't watch it if it wasn't violent." Spencer recalled a bus trip with her team that she likened to a "sick bay" and elaborated "there were broken bones, broken fingers, broken noses, popped out shoulders, you name it. But that's the nature of the game, that's why so many people love it."
Spencer obviously, is not shy to critique, and to this day remains critical of the Eagles current front office, stating among other things that she never would have hired former Oregon coach Chip Kelly due to his lack of NFL experience. She also would have cut QB Michael Vick by now. By contrast, she showered high praise on former Eagles QB Randall Cunningham, referring to him as "an elite quarterback" and remarking on his intelligence and ability to read opponents as some of his greatest strengths.
While one would think it would be difficult to be a woman dealing with condescending men in an NFL front office, Spencer advised of industries far worse: "I was in the (processed) meat business...that was a tough business, and there were no women there. I think that's why I did it, just to see if I could do it."
Ultimately for those so truly interested, the show may be the most entertaining 65 minutes you'll spend on a sports podcast. If you've never heard of Susan T Spencer before, it's well past time you introduced yourself. Just don't call her Miss Spencer, as our staff found out the hard way.
As for a parting shot towards Pat Bruce Wayne, Susan laughed as she replied. "I just want to find him when he gets into a ditch and then I'll try to step on him."
She was only kidding...we think. Pat can only hope.
*This article was written by Bill Hazell, the senior writer for www.sportsdebateradio.com.
For the full Susan T. Spencer experience, along with host CJ Vick, and regular panelists Pat Bruce Wayne, and Adam Rosenbaum click on the link below:
Lexie Borkey and Dave Holland are worried, and they should be. This email, as stated before, was sent to multiple state officials in different departments. I believe that the State enlisted a staff to deal with this issue. It is clear as day the staff that has been created to stop us, is simply overmatched. They simply are not as smart as we are, dude. These emails are not thought out, and are done with minimal attention to detail. SDR is fully aware that there are some powerful people in the email, and that’s ok. We are not a corrupt organization, we have nothing to hide. Dave Holland does, and this email only further reinforces that fact.
So we at SDR are proud to report the answer to our initial question. What was Jose Angel Roman on the night he fought Todd Wilson? Well the results are interesting. There is a pool in the office that he simply was smoking pot. Right and wrong. As you can see on the Jpeg attached to this story, it would appear that Jose Angel Roman tested positive for extremely elevated levels of creatine in his urine, beyond high. Scary high. He also tested positive for pot. So Jose tested positive for TWO banned substances, and knocked Todd OUT. We had to fight tooth and nail just to get THIS RESULT! This is fucking BS. The story gets better. The PDF indicates that this suspension went into effect LAST wed. Clearly, the state KNEW they would have to release this information, and suspended Roman 7 weeks after the fact. They did NOT suspend him when he tested positive, they DID NOT act until I started digging. WTF?????? Do they think we're STUPID????? They have the balls to suspend him while they are putting together an acceptable legal response to our inquiry? That’s shady.
The PDF was split into two parts. The second half is flat out disgusting. It would appear that Jose Angel Roman has been suspended more times then I have eaten my moms chicken wings. He was suspended 7 times over the course of his career. Forget Maryland, SDR, this guy has been suspended in New York? FLA? Michigan? Maryland? Virginia? Does anyone else agree we need a federal boxing commission? Why is this drug addict allowed to box? Why is he being issued a license? How in the world is Dave Holland going to explain this in court? It also says that Jose's drug test came through on DECEMBER 7TH. But somehow, someway, the suspension did not actually go on the record until January 23rd, dude.
Donny Knepper just emailed in his view of this situation, and his general response to this email:
After a review of your second FOIA request, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation is exercising its discretion as custodian to disclose the drug test record for Jose Angel Roman even though the Department does believe an exemption exists.
DK: The Freedom of Information Act exists to protect citizens against the government. The Freedom of Information Act was enacted so that our government would not be able to hide information from its citizens. Any citizen or entity is entitled to ask any government agency to disclose information; and the government agency, with very few exceptions, is compelled to provide the requested information in a reasonable amount of time.
In response to SDR’s request, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation claims that it believes that it is exempt from providing the requested information. In a nutshell, SDR asked for the results of pre-fight drug screens; and the Department claimed that such information is considered a “health record” and exempt from disclosure.
The Department, however, fails to explain: (1) how the Virginia Boxing Commission falls within the definition of “health care provider” as that term is defined and contemplated by the Code of Virginia; and (2) the basis for its implied contention that a participant or a potential participant in a boxing match provides a urine or blood sample to the Virginia Boxing Commission for the purpose of “health care” as that term is defined and contemplated by the Code of Virginia.
The Department, by taking this position, is essentially attempting to obstruct the purpose and intent of the Freedom of Information Act. The Department is a government agency that is attempting to keep information away from citizens. This is troublesome. The Department’s disclosure of the drug test record for Jose Angel Roman should be considered non-responsive to SDR’s request.
On the recommendation of the physician acting as the Department’s agent, in response to the positive results of the test, Program Administrator David Holland issued a 90-day medical suspension.
DK: David Holland is the Virginia Boxing Commissioner. He does not require the permission or the recommendation of any physician when deciding whether to issue a suspension. David Holland has known about Jose Angel Roman’s positive drug screen since at least the date that he overturned Roman’s fight against Todd Wilson. The timing of this suspension coincides perfectly with the Department’s decision to finally release the results of Roman’s positive drug screen to SDR. David Holland suspended Jose Roman in a transparent attempt to protect himself in the face of SDR’s persistent effort to uncover the truth.
This is the only such record, regarding any fighter, in the possession of the Department from 2003 to the present.
DK: How can this possibly be true? If neither the Department nor the Commission retains records of the drug tests that it administers to the fighters, then there are larger problems within their respective agencies. Their failure to retain such records undoubtedly runs afoul of both State and Federal laws. The Department’s admission that it does not possess the records is potentially very damaging to the government. Of course we all know that the Department is really just seeking to avoid disclosure of information. The real question is why is the Department and Commission going to such lengths to avoid providing SDR with information concerning drug screens. Who are they protecting?
Virginia’s Professional Boxing, Wrestling, and Martial Arts Advisory Board does not have a drug-testing program.
DK: This is another damaging admission by the Department. The Department and the Commission are funded by the State. The State has an interest in ensuring the safety of the participants and in preserving the competitive fairness of the events. The Department’s and the Commission’s failure to establish and adopt a drug testing program are grounds to strip the Commission of its funding and to remove Commissioner Holland from his post. To whatever degree Commissioner Holland believes it is within his discretion to not establish a drug-testing program, he has abused that discretion.
Sports Debate Radio, I am disgusted, I am pissed off, and I look forward to court. I promise to file my final report at the conclusion of the hearing, but for now, at least we know what Jose Angel Roman was on. We know that Dave Holland is an irresponsible, perhaps corrupt commissioner. We know the state of Virginia is not going to take the time, and spend the money, to beat us at the hearing. We are confident; that the court will compel Dave Holland to release EVERY SINGLE RECORD HE HAS. It was nice to get those PDFs and a sliver of information. We want all the information, and they can copy as many senators, and movers and shakers, as they want on our emails. We are not intimidated. We also are proud. Our writing, our investigating, is making a difference. We have an entire government agency quaking in their boots. We have an unfit commissioner on his way out, and we have many interested parties that have informed SDR they will be at the hearing. Come one, come all, dude! This will be PPV must see TV, because I am going to roast David Holland, and then I am turning all of this over to some very capable gentlemen up the street. Go SDR. We will post all of the PDFs at SportsDebateRadio.com. Jose’s rap sheet, his drug-testing schedule, and the flat out corruption that has stained the institution of Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts in the state of Virginia. You will also see that the Commission suspended Jose once they knew the results were going to be made public. SDR would like to give a shout out to Gary Williams for breaking this story initially, and no, Gary Williams has NOT failed any drug test that we know of.
CJ Vick is the senior editor for SportsDebateRadio.com; Donny Knepper is the legal analyst for SportsDebateRadio.com. Donny and CJ both contributed to this report.
Over the last couple of weeks SDR has been investigating, and reporting upon, its first big story. Its first real story. As one of the contributing writers, I can freely admit that it is the coolest fu#king project of my entire humble career. The story started with the Virginia Boxing Commission overturning Todd Wilson's knockout loss to José Angel Roman. The knockout occurred on December 1st 2012. It was a shocking knockout. One sided and emphatic. As a writer that covered Todd Wilson, it was a shock to see Todd in a fight he could not handle. He usually found a way to compete, and he had his socks blown off by a fighter with a piss poor record. After interviewing Todd the following night on my radio show, I left the fight at that. That was it. That was the end of the story.
That was until I got a call from Rob Graveline about a rumored failed drug test. The rumor was that Jose had tested positive for a banned substance, and the commissioner Dave Holland, was overturning the fight. SDR contacted Dave Holland the next day, Dave cited federal law, HIPPA, and refused to release the results of the drug test. He refused to even acknowledge that there had been a drug test. He railroaded me, for the second time. This was the same character that told me to petition my state Senator if I wanted to interview him about a year prior to this situation. SDR as everyone now knows launched an investigation. For those of you that missed it, here's what our investigation uncovered:
1. There is a rampant, unchecked, unregulated drug culture in Virginia boxing and mixed martial arts. Weed, coke, HGH, EPO, meth, crack, shrooms, mali, oxy. The works. Boxers that profit professionally in the state of Virginia are currently abusing drugs at an alarming rate. This report was supposed to be our little "Mitchell" report, but as you will see, that will have to wait.
2. We learned that Jose Angel Roman is a repeat drug offender. He tested positive for pot TWICE in the state of Maryland before the state of Virginia licensed him to box. He tested positive for those substances the year prior to that which in theory would warrant an extended suspension. This called into question the entire drug testing program, Dave Holland’s machinations, and really, the state government of Virginia, as these are public officials using our tax dollars.
3. We were informed that Dave Holland has a multitude of positive drug tests in his little vault. He has this information, has the discretion to release it, but refuses too, citing HIPPA.
4. Which brings us to the 4th thing we learned, Dave Holland does not know the law. He contacted SDR during the investigation to find out what the law was, and WHERE he could find it?! This was the day AFTER he cited the law, on the record, to this magazine. Dave Holland then proceeded to hide behind Lexie.
5. We learned Jimmy Lange might have been the victim of a dirty fight, we could not confirm this information, but since then, we have closed in on the truth.
We then sent an official FOIA request to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, which in so many words is the governing body that oversees the commission. The Department is a state agency. The email's destination was incidental, Sports Debate Radio. Dave Holland tucked his tail, and forwarded it to many different parties. Lexie then sent us an email incorrectly citing the law again, and really putting the state of Virginia in a bind. At that point we filed the 3rd report on the Facebook page. We sent them an email which was featured in that 3rd report. We then waited. We gave them 5 days to respond, given the fact that we crushed them, and their flawed reasoning in our official request. Given that Dave Holland had no idea seemingly how to deal with us, I knew it was a matter of time before they got back to us. At that point, the website launched, and Donny, myself, and the staff at SDR took our focus off the story, and agreed to pick matters back up when there was some movement.
The movement came today as I was driving home from beating down Flint Hill. I was in a good mood but STUCK on 395. At that point I checked my email, and saw the response that we were waiting for. The State of Virginia sent SDR an email chock full of information, and mistakes. They revealed what Jose Angel Roman tested positive for. They also stepped in a huge pile of shit, and this is not something they will be able to wipe off. We are going to post the email that we received from the state. I will post my response after each passage. After we cover the email, which was sent to 8 government officials, we will then get into the PDFs, which were attached to the message. Donny is also scheduled to email in his response. We will switch gears when his email hits my inbox.
Dear Mr. Vick:
As the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Records & FOIA Manager, I am responding to your request dated January 21, 2013:
(1) The names of the fighters or participants who were tested; (2) the dates those tests were administered; (3) the results of those tests; (4) if any test was positive, the name of the substance for which the fighter or participant tested positive; (5) any sanction, consequence, penalty, or punishment the Virginia Boxing Commission dispensed as a result of the positive test.
After a review of your second FOIA request, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation is exercising its discretion as custodian to disclose the drug test record for Jose Angel Roman even though the Department does believe an exemption exists. On the recommendation of the physician acting as the Department’s agent, in response to the positive results of the test, Program Administrator David Holland issued a 90-day medical suspension. This is the only such record, regarding any fighter, in the possession of the Department from 2003 to the present.
CJ: This is SO SHADY!!!!!! The medical suspension according to the records the state sent us was issued on January 23rd. That is almost a month and half after the fight in question. The drug test results came through on December 7th??? So why the delay Mr. Holland? 7 weeks after the judgment??? The suspension was issued LAST week after an annoying set of reporters put some heat on Dave Holland. That is beyond dishonest. The PDF also does not show what medical condition, if any, was the reasoning for the medical suspension. Based on the PDF, which we will reveal below, the suspension is a sanction for a banned test, and that suspension did not go into affect until last WED the 23rd, which was two days after our official FOIA Request. So in effect, they are confessing that they overturned the fight, but did NOT suspend Jose Angel Roman.
(2) A complete description of the drug-testing program. Who runs it, where the tests are conducted, and a complete banned substance list.
Virginia’s Professional Boxing, Wrestling, and Martial Arts Advisory Board does not have a drug-testing program.
CJ: What do I do with this Donny? In perhaps the most dangerous sport of them all. Pure combat. Boxing is blunt force trauma to the dome non-stop. People die in the ring from power shots, people have brain injuries they never recover from as the result of ONE fight. Ask Riddick Bowe, Ask Meldrick Taylor, Ask Miguel Cotto. In boxing more then any sport, drug testing goes with out saying. MMA is worse! You mean to tell me when the UFC comes to town they do not drug test their athletes!!!! Dana White has some questions to answer, especially when the court compels the state to give me EVERY drug test result. This is irresponsible by the state of Virginia; this means they put LIVES in danger, and profit off it. This is a COLOSSAL liability for the Governor's office if a fighter dies in the ring. The state could be sued into chapter 11. Every fighter that has ever been knocked out in the state of Virginia has a right to sue the state in civil court, and seek damages of all kinds. The fact that this made this statement publicly is about as shortsighted as it gets. We do not believe this fully though SDR, see, the detailed nature of the results we have been given lead us to believe that Dave Holland has some serious information, going back YEARS. They might not have a drug-testing program, but they have results, and we are oooh so close. The fact of the matter is, they do not regulate the use of illegal drugs. They seemingly, do not have a system in place to even punish these athletes. They do test for banned substances, but they don’t have a drug-testing program. Have fun with that SDR, we still cannot get out heads around it.
(3) We want to see the punishment schedule. We want to know how suspensions works, and what happens when a fighter fails a test.
The Standards of Conduct and Performance, 18VAC120-40-430, grounds for disciplinary action by the Department, Regulations for Professional Boxing, Wrestling and Martial Arts, are available on the Department’s website at http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/Boards/Boxing/A511-41REGS.pdf.
(4) We want the drug test results for the boxer Joey Gilbert the night he fought Jimmy Lange. The date of the fight was 2-18-2006. We have information that leads us to believe that Joey may have been under the influence of performance enhancing drugs. We also know that he tested positive for multiple banned substances at the same time in the state of Nevada, we will be checking the exact timing of that test, we understand it was around the time of the fight in question. If he tested positive for something that night he fought Jimmy Lange at the Patriot Center, why in the world was he not suspended? He fought in the state of Nevada less then 6 months later, if Virginia had suspended him, he would not have been issued a license to box. That is a problem right now, especially since he knocked Jimmy out in the third round. You have refused multiple requests to release that particular information, and since the law does not cover Mr. Holland as far as drug test results are concerned, we hereby request that information. We will also want the data authenticated by the lab that conducted the test.
The Department does not have any record of a drug test regarding Joey Gilbert.
CJ: I will touch this when we address the PDF. This does not make any sense based on the information we were just given. Joey also tested positive for 6 banned substances in the state of Nevada at around the time he knocked out Jimmy Lange. So either way, they just screwed themselves. Joey was a documented drug offender, and was allowed to fight Jimmy without any type of drug screening? Nothing? No physical exam? Again, the PDF contradicts this information.
(5) We are interested in the process for being licensed to box in the state of Virginia. We have read the process on the website, but we are wondering, do you guys always allow professional athletes to continue to profit professionally even as they are abusing illegal drugs? We would like for the Commission to release its reasoning for issuing Jose Angel Roman a license to box if he had been steadily abusing drugs the year before. Did the Commission speak with the state of Maryland in reference to this issue? We understand that the Virginia Boxing Commission had an issue with an MMA promoter over "medical results", and because the outfit failed to provide test results along with medical information, the fighter in question was then not issued a license to fight. So again, that begs the question, if Mr. Holland would set a very public precedent, refusing to issue a fighter a license to fight, and cite test results and medical information, then why in the world would he issue Jose Angel Roman a license to box? It was public knowledge that Mr. Roman was a repeat drug offender.
It is procedure to review Fight Fax before approval of a fight for current suspensions and records to ensure competitive contests. The Virginia Professional Boxing, Wrestling and Martial Arts Advisory Board was in contact with the Maryland Athletic Commission prior to the fight as Mr. Roman was under an indefinite medical suspension with the Maryland Athletic Commission from 8/22/11. Maryland lifted the suspension on 11/30/12 in order for Mr. Roman to be allowed to participate in the fight in Virginia and then Maryland reinstated the suspension 12/3/12. If you would provide the name of the MMA promoter and fighter in question, Mr. Holland will research the matter.
CJ: This bothers me, never ever should an indefinite suspension be lifted in order for a boxer to fight elsewhere. A suspension should be lifted as a result of a hearing, independent of everything but the state of Maryland. A fight in Virginia should not influence a suspension in Maryland. That sounds like a backdoor deal. Sounds like some money changed hands, because Dave Holland has no fu#king business calling another commissioner to have a suspension lifted for a fighter that simply does not matter. That is unprofessional, this guy is a public servant, that sounds more like a promoter, then a commissioner, and what in the world motivated Dave Holland to call in a favor for Jose Angel Roman? I could understand if it was Floyd Mayweather, but to take time out of your day, spend tax dollars to get a fighter's suspension lifted is flat out corruption.
(6) How much money has the Commission generated in the last year? How much money has the Commission collected in fines?
Monies, including license fees and gate fees, generated by the Board for fiscal year 2012** were $173,728; monies, including license fees and gate fees, generated for calendar year 2012 were $179,823. Fines collected by the Board (fiscal year 2012 and calendar year 2012) were $0.00.
CJ: I find this hard to believe. Because the AG will soon be involved, I will actually not publish the information I have on this subject. This particular nugget is a criminal matter, and I do not want to in any way hamper interested investigators.
DPOR is a state agency and reports by fiscal year; fiscal year 2012 began July 1, 2011 and ended June 30, 2012.
Alexina (Lexie) M. Borkey
Records & FOIA Manager
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Many people have been asking SDR for an update on our ongoing investigation of Dave Holland and the Virginia State Boxing Commission . The fallout from Mondays post has been considerable. People from all over the country have sent us well wishes and tid bits of information that continue to aid us in our quest. The decision has also been made to not release some of the information we have in the interest of the forthcoming hearing. SDR did promise an update, not a report, and here it is.
Many people communicated with SDR after the last report we filed. Politicians, media members, boxers asking us if they appeared on our list, and angry fans who thought it was wrong that we revealed the results of Jose's test. None of that matters. This investigation is in the name of justice. We believe the State of Virginia owes it to the public to put the screws to Dave Holland. Dave, who actually never responded to our initial request, made a move last week. He commissioned Alexina in public records to contact us, and explain to us why they would deny our request. She cited the law, which is a step up from Dave's nonsense, however, she still did not give us an acceptable reason to NOT release the results. The law she cited simply does not cover it dude. I was a little offended by her email, because it seemed like it was written under the assumption that we would not fact check it. Many people underestimate us, and I am not sure why. Donny thought it would be a good idea to hold on the investigation until next week. I agreed with him. We will pick up the investigation on Monday. I give any athlete out there this chance to come clean. Post an apology right now on this topic. Or continue your silence and let everyone find out after the fact. The clock is ticking dude, the second the state leans on the Commission, the truth is going to come out. I will leave everyone with the email that SDR sent the state of Virginia. Because of the increased amount of interested ears in the room, we had to copy certain parties on this email. This email is our official information request. Please check back with us next week for the latest account of this intense fact finding mission.
Greetings Mr. Holland of the Virginia Boxing Commission and Alexina Borkey,
I want to thank you for getting back to me although I never directly contacted Lexie and am unsure why she would email me and not Dave. I would suppose thats the way this process works. I respect you taking the time to read the law Lexie, I will have you know, That Mr. Holland did not. He did not know the law, and he did not know where to find it. He actually contacted us and asked us to send him a link, or a passage to the law itself. That did not stop Mr. Holland from citing the law the day before, which to me, was dishonest. He claimed Federal law, and had no clue what the law was. Thats why everyone is so curious.
There are several pieces of information that WE WILL seek under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The provision in the code that you cited, does not cover some of the issues at hand, it actually does not even cover the concept of a failed drug test. I would advise you to read the law again. I am done attempting to interview Mr. Holland, it would appear I have enough information to warrant a hearing. I want to point out the issues with your message, this email will soon be a matter of public record, so, I want to be clear. I will start by quoting YOUR email to us.
Dear Mr. Vick:
In response to your FOIA request, pursuant to § 2.2-3705.5.1 of the Code of Virginia, “health records, except that such records may be personally reviewed by the individual who is the subject of such records, as provided in subsection F of § 32.1-127.1:03”, are exempt from public disclosure.
Alexina (Lexie) M. Borkey
Records & FOIA Manager
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Lexie, the drug test does not fall under the definition of "health record." Health records are the documents/charts/scans/etc that are kept at a doctor's office or at a hospital or other such medical treatment facility. The drug test is a record that is maintained by the VA Boxing Commission. This debunks the provision that you have cited.
The VA Code section that you cited (32.1-127.1:03) refers to another VA Code section where the terms are further defined (8.01-581.1); and again the key terms apply to a health care provider and not an agency that is designed, at least in part, to ensure that the sport is run cleanly.
Let's review the law for those on this message that have not read it.
§ 32.1-127.1:03. Health records privacy.
A. There is hereby recognized an individual's right of privacy in the content of his health records. Health records are the property of the health care entity maintaining them, and, except when permitted or required by this section or by other provisions of state law, no health care entity, or other person working in a health care setting, may disclose an individual's health records.
B. As used in this section:
"Health care entity" means any health care provider, health plan or health care clearinghouse.
"Health care provider" means those entities listed in the definition of "health care provider" in § 8.01-581.1,except that state-operated facilities shall also be considered health care providers for the purposes of this section. Health care provider shall also include all persons who are licensed, certified, registered or permitted or who hold a multistate licensure privilege issued by any of the health regulatory boards within the Department of Health Professions, except persons regulated by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers or the Board of Veterinary Medicine.
§ 8.01-581.1. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
"Health care" means any act, professional services in nursing homes, or treatment performed or furnished, or which should have been performed or furnished, by any health care provider for, to, or on behalf of a patient during the patient's medical diagnosis, care, treatment or confinement.
"Health care provider" means (i) a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by this Commonwealth to provide health care or professional services as a physician or hospital, dentist, pharmacist, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse or a person who holds a multistate privilege to practice such nursing under the Nurse Licensure Compact, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed dental hygienist, health maintenance organization, or emergency medical care attendant or technician who provides services on a fee basis; (ii) a professional corporation, all of whose shareholders or members are so licensed; (iii) a partnership, all of whose partners are so licensed; (iv) a nursing home as defined in § 54.1-3100 except those nursing institutions conducted by and for those who rely upon treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer in accordance with a recognized church or religious denomination; (v) a professional limited liability company comprised of members as described in subdivision A 2 of § 13.1-1102; (vi) a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or any other entity, except a state-operated facility, which employs or engages a licensed health care provider and which primarily renders health care services; or (vii) a director, officer, employee, independent contractor, or agent of the persons or entities referenced herein, acting within the course and scope of his employment or engagement as related to health care or professional services.
If you look further into the code my friends, you will find that Mr. Holland has discretion to release those records that we have been requesting for weeks. I know YOU know this particular law Lexie, the following provision is in the FIRST paragraph of the statute you quoted.
§ 2.2-3705.5. Exclusions to application of chapter; health and social services records.
"The following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter but may be disclosed by the custodian in his discretion, except where such disclosure is prohibited by law"
So Dave Holland could tell us if he really wanted to, and would be in the clear as far as HIPPA is concerned, if he was actually covered by HIPPA. There are some questions that we have, Dave. They are as follows, and have been included in our motion.
1. The State of Maryland informed us that Jose Angel Roman tested positive for banned substances twice in 2011, within 6 months of each other. The following is a message we received from the Maryland Commission minutes before you denied our request for similar information.
January 15, 2013
Mr. C.J. Vick
Sports Debate Radio
Dear Mr. Vick:
In compliance with your written request (dated January 14, 2013) sent via e-mail, and in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act, I, as the custodian of records for the Maryland State Athletic Commission (“Commission”), am providing you with the following information.
Professional boxer Jose Luis Roman (Registration # 06-6818), after submitting a urine specimen which tested positive for cannabinoids (marijuana) prior to competing in a boxing contest scheduled to be held on April 15, 2011 in Millersville, Maryland, entered into a Consent Order with the Commission as a means of settling Case. No. MSAC-11-05.
Professional boxer Jose Luis Roman (Registration # 06-6818), after submitting a urine specimen which tested positive for cannabinoids (marijuana) prior to competing in a boxing contest scheduled to be held on August 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland, entered into a Consent Order with the Commission as a means of settling Case No. MSAC-11-07.
So Mr. Holland. Why in the world was this man issued a license to box if he is a repeat drug offender? See, this is what makes these results so interesting. The results we originally requested, that is. If he indeed tested positive for a THIRD time inside of 2 years, then that would mean you suspended him, right? That would mean he was sanctioned, right? Don't you think its strange Lexie that Maryland is being so forthcoming and honest and Mr. Holland is being nothing short of a cloak and dagger?
2. We want the state of Virginia to release all information concerning and relating to the drug testing program. We want a banned substances list, and we want to know why in the world fighters are using drugs and not being punished for it. What's the punishment schedule? We also will be seeking test results going back as far as the record will allow. We have heard numerous accounts of unchecked, unreleased positive tests. We have information that leads us to believe that the drug testing program for boxers in the state of Virginia is a matter of public record. We want to know how it works, and we certainly want to know if there are boxers out there who are using narcotics and performance enhancing drugs. It would be a shame if the Virginia State government has to learn that one of their agencies is not adhering to basic standards of safety and fair play. My team has prepared 800 examples of drug test results being released to the public. I can send them to you. I am not sure what the Washington Post would have done if WADA had cited HIPPA when Lamont Peterson tested positive for a banned substance. They did not, however. The information was released right away. When Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. tested positive for the same substance that Mr. Roman tested positive for in the state of Maryland TWICE, it was released to the public. Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission did not cite HIPPA, but then again, Keith has nothing to hide. I am going to attach our original request to this formal request. I am giving the Virginia Boxing Commission 5 days to release the requested information, or I will continue upon my intentions for a hearing in Fairfax Virginia. I will have you know we have spoke with the FOIA State Advisory Council at length, we have consulted a third party, and we are prepared to go on the record.
We want the following
(1) We want every drug test result the Commission has on file going back to 2005. Positive or negative we want to see the results of every single test that has been conducted by the Virginia State Boxing Commission over the last 8 years.
(2) A complete description of the drug testing program. Who runs it, where the tests are conducted, and a complete banned substance list. What is Dave Holland's involvement in this process?
(3) We want to see the punishment schedule. We want to know how suspensions works, and what happens when a fighter fails a test.
(4) We want the drug test results for the boxer Joey Gilbert the night he fought Jimmy Lange. The date of the fight was 2-18-2006. We have information that leads us to believe that Joey may have been under the influence of performance enhancing drugs. We also know that he tested positive for multiple banned substances at around same time in the state of Nevada. We will be checking the exact timing of that test. We understand it was around the time of the fight in question. If he tested positive for something that night he fought Jimmy Lange at the Patriot Center, why in the world was he not suspended? He fought in the state of Nevada less then 6 months later. If Virginia had suspended him, he would not have been issued a license to box. That is a problem right now, especially since he knocked Jimmy out in the third round. The Commission has refused multiple requests to release that particular information, and since the law does not cover Mr. Holland as far as drug test results are concerned, we hereby DEMAND that information.
(5) We are interested in the process for being licensed to box in the state of Virginia. We have read the process on the website, but we are wondering, do you guys always allow professional athletes to continue to profit professionally even as they are abusing illegal drugs? We would like for the Commission to release its reasoning for issuing Jose Angel Roman a license to box if he had been steadily abusing drugs the year before. Did the Commission speak with the state of Maryland in reference to this issue?
(6) How much money has the Commission generated in the last year? How much money has the Commission collected in fines?
More will be included in our formal request, we just wanted to give you a heads up as we feel that is professional. There are major questions surrounding the Virginia Boxing Commission and the drug culture in the state of Virginia. It is our belief, that this is ALL a matter of public record, and we are ready to go to court in the name of that right. The people have a right to know if professional athletes are breaking the law. Per Virginia state law, you have 5 days to respond to this request. If you refuse or fail to release all of the requested information, we WILL file a petition in Fairfax, Virginia under the Freedom of Information Act. If this actually gets to that point, I would imagine the Commission will be seeing more and more emails just like this one from people with much more clout then us. I want to quote something that was written by a lawyer in reference to this issue, to give the other parties viewing this message an example of why the Virginia Commissioner needs to release this information.
"David Holland, the Virginia Boxing Commissioner, overturns a suspiciously one-sided fight and then refuses to divulge his reasons for doing so. When pushed for an answer, Mr. Holland responds only that it was for medical reasons. Sports Debate Radio has received information that the "medical reason" is in fact a failed drug test on the part of Jose Angel Roman. Despite numerous requests, Mr. Holland has failed and refused to provide SDR with any information related to this matter.
The Virginia Boxing Commission is a public institution and is subject to state and federal Freedom of Information Acts. David Holland is the custodian of the agency's records - yet he is blocking efforts to have the information released.
Clearly, David Holland is not withholding this information in an effort to protect Jose Angel Roman. After all this was only a club fight and none of the fighters warrant special protection from a public official. So who is David Holland protecting? Who would be hurt if the records of Jose Angel Roman's failed drug test were released?"
Good luck! It's unfortunate we could not find a common ground in the policing of narcotics and performance enhancing drugs in professional sports.
Sports Debate Radio