Eddie Hearn criticizes Ryan Garcia for ‘most stupid, childish behavior’ since positive drug tests

Eddie Hearn can’t make sense of how Ryan Garcia is handling his latest dilemma.

Hearn, the headman at Matchroom Sport, was Devin Haney’s promoter for the recent blockbuster boxing bout between Garcia and Haney. Garcia stunned the combat sports world by knocking down Haney three times en route to a majority decision win, but subsequently tested positive for the banned substance ostarine in drug-testing samples collected on April 19 and April 20. Garcia has vehemently denied any involvement and is currently awaiting the results of his B sample, which is expected to arrive soon.

If the B sample returns the same findings, Garcia could be subject to a fine as well as a suspension, and his victory could be overturned into a no-contest.

Considering the seriousness of the situation, Garcia’s actions since the news broke have been puzzling for the veteran promoter Hearn.

“He was off again [Sunday] night on Twitter, like just the most stupid, childish behavior,” Hearn said Monday on The MMA Hour. “But again, similar to some people, [he gets] face-to-face and it’s like, ‘You can come up, give me a cuddle, let’s have a photo.’ I don’t like [that]. I’m someone that will really do my best to avoid confrontation. Yeah? Peaceful life is always better. But sometimes this guy acts like an idiot, you know? And I like Ryan Garcia.

“I’ve said to him, I actually said to him in Saudi Arabia, ‘You do realize, if you actually listen to every interview that I give, I say I really hope that Ryan is innocent. I actually even give him the benefit of the doubt.’ But I even said to him face to face, ‘You can’t just say it’s a conspiracy theory.’ I said, ‘You’re blaming me for you testing positive twice.’ ‘Well, someone set me up,’ he said. Well, firstly, no, they didn’t. And secondly, it definitely wasn’t me. So just be careful what you say and let’s just try and deal with this situation.”

Garcia’s brashness in the wake of his failed tests is not altogether surprising. The 25-year-old star was erratic beyond measure in the lead-up to his bout with Haney, and even missed weight by 3.5 pounds for what was supposed to be a WBC super lightweight title bout.

In his own post-fight statement, Haney pointed to that fact and criticized Garcia’s behavior, writing after the positive test news, “People die in this sport. This is not a joking matter.”

Ostarine is a banned selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that has been commonly linked to several tainted supplement cases in the past. And while Hearn believes there’s a chance Garcia is telling the truth, he also thinks the young fighter hasn’t done himself many favors since the biggest win of career began getting called into question.

“You have to answer to [the results], and the B sample will come out soon I believe,” Hearn said. “99.9% of the time, it’s always the same. And I keep saying, ‘Yeah, there is a chance that Ryan Garcia is innocent. There is a chance that it is contamination.’

“But as I keep saying, one thing that we do know at the moment, is that when Ryan Garcia entered the ring to fight Devin Haney, he had performance-enhancing drugs in his system. And I feel like Devin Haney — I mean, it’s amazing really that Devin Haney is actually getting criticized, but he’s fought a guy that was three-and-a-half pounds over [and had banned substances in his system].”

“So I think that Ryan’s just got to answer the problems,” Hearn added. “He’s got to make sure that he can deal with the situation, which is obviously coming thick and fast.”

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