On March 5 at Colosseum Sport Hall in Grozny, Chechnya, Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (24-0, 21 KOs), the wrecking ball from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, knocked out reigning and defending WBA World heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs), from Hamburg, Germany, by way of Andijan, Uzbekistan, at 2:02 of round 10.
It was an historic win for Browne, the first Australian to win a heavyweight world title, which may be changed to an equally historic no-decision.
Lucas Browne failed his post-fight drug test and will likely be stripped of the belt.
The Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), which conducted the test, confirmed in an email that Browne tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol in a urine test conducted after the bout.
ESPN.com obtained a copy of the email in which VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman wrote, “This letter is to advise you that the ‘A’ sample urine specimen number 2998060 collected from Lucas Browne … has been analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists and stimulants. The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains Clenbuterol.
“Mr. Browne has the right to promptly request analysis of the ‘B’ sample at his expense.”
Browne is one of three heavyweight titleholders, along with Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz, to participate in the WBA tournament to recognize one world champion. That tournament, at least as conceived, is on hold at the present time.
Browne wrote on Twitter, “I don’t understand today’s news, and I’m seeking legal advice.”
The World Boxing Association and WBA Championships Committee hope this is a misunderstanding that can be resolved and have agreed to wait until an analysis of the ‘B’ sample is complete before rendering a decision regarding the situation.
Lucas Browne Statement
“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 drug cheat. The news of this positive test has shocked and devastated me, and I will for 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 this fight.
“I will be in a position to release more details and make further comments in coming days.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.