Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Juan Manuel Marquez has, in Angel Hernandez formerly known as Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia, recruited the services of a man who was embroiled in one of the biggest steroid scandals in sports between 2005-08. Heredia testified against a number of well-known athletes during the BALCO case, including that of stripped three-time gold medal Olympian Marion Jones, whom he is alleged to have supplied performance enhancing drugs to (PEDs).
“[Juan Manuel] Marquez is working with admitted steroid dealer Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia (Hernandez on HBO’s 24/7 program). Heredia testfied he supplied PEDs to Marion Jones,” Twittered renowned sports nutritionist Victor Conte on Monday.
During the HBO special aimed to help build further interest on the third installment of Marquez’s fistic trilogy with great rival and current WBO welterweight world championship incumbent; Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38ko), the Mexican was filmed undergoing strength work with Hernandez having abandoned his former ‘old school’ techniques.
A graduate of Texas A&M Exercise Science Program, Hernandez can lay claim to an expertise in the field, however: “Angel Heredia was the star witness for [Jeff] Novitzky [special agent who investigated steroid use for five years] and the government against many athletes,” said Conte. “He got no time in return.”
By providing documentation that implicated a number of well-known athletes, including a dozen who had won a combination of 26 Olympic medals and 21 world championships, Heredia was spared imprisonment. Amongst those he testified against was Jones, an Olympic standout at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.
Despite his steroids past, it is important to stress there is no accusation regarding his work in transforming Marquez (53-5-1, 39ko) from a lightweight to welterweight frame in preparation for JuanMa’s November 12 test against Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
Indeed, Conte himself was incarcerated in 2005 for his role in the BALCO scandal but is now one of the leading figures in sports nutrition due to his innovative hypoxicators that have revolutionised the way that boxing looks at altitude training. Furthermore, Conte also works with fighters such as Andre Ward and Nonito Donaire, both of them world champions and, whilst the former is a known advocate of Olympic style blood testing, the latter has implicitly stated he will readily undergo a blood test anytime, anywhere.
Angel Hernandez’s present work is not in question but, despite a name-change, there is perhaps no escaping his questionable past.