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WBA Heavyweight champ Lucas Browne stripped of title and handed six-month ban – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 16th, 2016 by Ian

WBA Heavyweight champ Lucas Browne stripped of title and handed six-month ban
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The World Boxing Association announced on May 13th that undefeated heavyweight champion Lucas Browne (23-0, 20 Kos) of Australia has been stripped of the title and suspended for six months. The announcement came after Browne’s B blood test came back positive. His original A test showed that he had a banned substance named Clenbuterol in his system after beating former champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 Kos) of Russia on March 5th to win the title. Browne managed to come from behind to stop Chagaev in the 10th round of their contest in Chechnya, but then failed the post-fight drug test.

The 37-year-old Browne and his promoter, former world champion Ricky Hatton, pointed out that Clenbuterol is known to be a fat-stripping drug that is mainly used by bodybuilders. In addition, the substance may be fed to cows to improve their meat quality. Hatton said it doesn’t make sense for a heavyweight boxer to try to lose fat or weight since there’s no weight restriction in the division. Browne and Hatton also claimed that it was their idea for both boxers to submit to drug tests by the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association).

Reports in mid April stated that Browne had passed an independent polygraph (lie detector test) regarding the matter. The boxer told the media, “We were actually the ones who demanded independent testers. I had a random blood and urine test five days before the fight and there was absolutely nothing in my system. Why would I then take Clenbuterol which is going to make my heart go triple speed before a 12-round world title fight? It just doesn’t make any sense.” Browne said it’s possible that Clenbuterol was indeed in his system, but the lie detector test shows that he didn’t knowingly put it there.

Whether it makes sense or not, the WBA said it’s a boxer’s responsibility to make sure they know exactly what type of substances they’re putting in their bodies and it doesn’t really matter if it’s accidental or not. Browne said the pre-fight test was conducted by VADA and he has a certificate to prove that he passed it. The first-ever Australian heavyweight champion added that the 37-year-old Chagaev was tested first after the fight and he had to wait around for a couple of hours. He believes if the banned drug was indeed in his system it could have been digested by his body the night before the fight when he was given a steak to eat.

Browne’s victory over Chagaev will now be changed to a no-contest decision and Chagaev will get his championship back. Browne’s ban will be over on September 5th and at that time the WBA said he’ll be eligible to be ranked again by the organization. However, he’ll also be required to submit to random drug testing for the rest of the year. But since the sport of boxing has several ruling commissions, Browne could theoretically fight with another sanctioning body such as the World Boxing Council (WBC) or the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

Chagaev has been ordered by the WBA to face Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs), its mandatory challenger. Chagaev beat Oquendo by a controversial majority decision in the summer of 2014 and Oquendo hasn’t been back in the ring since. The WBA said the contest must be held within the next 120 days and the two boxers management teams have 30 to come to an agreement. The winner of the Chagaev vs Oquendo bout will then have to face the winner of the upcoming match between Alexander Ustinov and Luis Ortiz, who is currently listed as the WBA’s interim champion. However, there’s still more as the boxer left standing from the Chagaev vs Oquendo and Ustinov vs Ortiz bouts will then be ordered to take on the winner of the July 9th Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury rematch.

Fury beat Klitschko last year for the heavyweight crown and the WBA has made a mess of things by recognizing more than one heavyweight champion in an attempt to charge and collect more sanctioning fees. Chagaev was listed as the organization’s “regular heavyweight champion” before losing to Browne while Klitschko was known as the Super World Heavyweight Champion before he handed it to Fury.

 
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