Australia’s first ever heavyweight title holder, Lucas Browne, has tested positive to banned substance clenbuterol in a urine test.
The tests were conducted by the reputable Las-Vegas based agency Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
Lucas Browne’s newly won WBA Regular title is now in jeopardy as he now risks having his belt stripped from him and his tenth round knockout win over Ruslan Chagaev changed to a no decision.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported the news after receiving a copy of a letter from the VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman which stated, “The “results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains Clenbuterol,” The letter stated.
“There has been no testing of the ‘B’ Urine sample as of yet, which Browne is entitled to,
“Mr Browne has the right to promptly request analysis of the ‘B’ sample at his expense.”
Boxing’ reputation has again been marred by doping allegations following recent heavyweights Antonio Tarver and Erkan Teper also failing drug tests.
Hatton Promotions – who manages Lucas Browne – released a statement on behalf of their fighter, denying he had any prior knowledge of the substance in question.
“I would like to assure all my fans, the whole of the boxing world and all of Australia that I am not a drug user or a drug cheat.”
“The news of this positive test shocked and devastated me, and I will be fighting for as long as it takes to clear my name. Prior to today I had not heard of the drug clenbuterol and had no idea what it was used for. I am now aware that it is essentially a weight stripping drug, and as a heavyweight boxer the idea of me using it is utterly ridiculous. I am a staunch long-time opponent of any drug use, performance-enhancing or otherwise.
“My team and I were well aware of the many risks involved in going to a place like Chechnya to fight a reigning champion, and believed we had taken sufficient precautions. In addition, it was at our insistence that VADA testing was implemented for the fight,” the statement read.
Browne has also denied the allegations via his twitter this morning,
I don’t understand today’s news, and I’m seeking legal advice…
— Lucas Browne (@bigdaddybrowne1) March 21, 2016
Former three division champion Jeff Fenech – who is also Browne’s former trainer – has thrown his support for Lucas Browne. “He only needed to cut back on hamburgers, not take drugs,” he told The Telegraph.
Browne’s future looks murky as potential lucrative fights with lineal champion Tyson Fury or David Haye are now in doubt. Browne was slated to face Fres Oquendo next – in the WBA tournament to reduce the amount of champions to one – that could potentially have taken place in Australia.