In what is becoming a dark day for heavyweight boxing on the PED front, news is coming in that the results of Australian Lucas Browne’s “B” sample drug test from his March fight with Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA’s World heavyweight title has also come back positive for clenbuterol.
Earlier today, the VADA agency announced that Russia’s Alexander Povetkin tested positive for Meldonium. That test came back just eight days prior to Povetkin’s challenge for Deontay Wilder’s WBC title.
For his part, Browne responded on Twitter:
I’m leaving everything to my lawyer, Mr Leon Margules. I thank everyone for their support, especially the people and fans of Australia.
— Lucas Browne (@lucasBrowne) 13 de mayo de 2016
Browne has claimed his innocence from the very beginning of the saga, but his case has suffered because there really is no agency on the world level that is equipped to properly investigate what are very serious allegations being made by Browne in his defense. Without anyone to look into the case properly, the agencies involved continue their bureaucratic processes.
The World Boxing Association’s next step is to strip Browne of the belt and return it to Chagaev, who lost the title to Browne after Browne scored a come-from-behind knockout to win the fight. The WBA’s own rules and regulations also call for a suspension and fine, however the amount of time and money involved has yet to be determined.
For his part, Chagaev had announced his retirement after a second opponent tested positive for PEDs. Fres Oquendo, out of Chicago, tested positive for several banned substances after his July of 2014 bout with Chagaev. If Chagaev does not return, the WBA’s interim belt is held by Luis Ortiz, whose next match-up could lead to him taking the full version of the WBA title.
Check out Bernard Fernandez’s piece “Deontay Wilder: “To Russia With Gloves (or Maybe Not)” here at The Sweet Science.
Want more info? Check out The Boxing Channel video and their look at the situation featuring analyst Ray Flores.