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Added March 28th, 2016 by Ian

Newly-crowned heavyweight champion Lucas Browne fails drug test

Lucas Browne made history on March 5th when he became the first-ever Australian heavyweight boxing champion after he knocked former WBA titleholder Ruslan Chagaev of Russia in the 10th round in Grozny. Browne may now go down in history of being the first Australian heavyweight champion to be stripped of his title as he has failed a post-fight drug test. According to VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency), Browned tested positive for clenbuterol, which is known to be a diuretic. But since Browne is a heavyweight, it doesn’t really make much sense for him to try to lose weight before a fight and that’s exactly what he has pointed out.

VADA said it will make another public announcement regarding the situation after the B sample from the 36-year-old’s drug test comes back. Browne has pleaded innocence and boxing promoter Frank Warren of the UK is demanding that the WBA launches its own investigation into the controversy. Warren said he doesn’t have a clue if Browne knowingly took the banned drugs, but added that he should have the chance to prove that he isn’t. The promoter also questioned why a heavyweight boxer would want to take a drug that is designed to help a person lose weight since there’s no weight limit in that division.

Warren also stated, “True it has other properties and some athletes have used it as a stimulant but it is easily detectable so why would Browne have personally insisted that the proper VADA procedures should be strictly followed if he was up to anything dodgy?”

Former world boxing champion Ricky Hatton of England, who is also Browne’s promoter, believes the proper procedures weren’t followed after the bout. He even goes as far as saying that his boxer’s drink or food was spiked with the drug. However, that’s going to be nearly impossible to prove, especially if the B sample also comes back with a positive result.

Browne entered the fight as the underdog even though he had an unbeaten record of 23-0 with 20 Kos and Chagaev was 34-2 with 21 Kos. Chagaev had the challenger in serious trouble in the middle rounds, but Browne exploded in the 10th round and dropped the champion. The referee was then forced to halt the contest when Browne, who was trailing on the scorecards, landed a barrage of punches on him. If Browne’s second test is also positive, the WBA will strip him of the title and there’s a good chance he’ll also face a suspension as well as being fined. On the other hand, it’s also quite possible that Browne’s B test will clear him.

If the crown is stripped from Browne, the fair thing for the WBA to do will be to give the title back to the 37-year-old Chagaev. But there’s also the possibility that the championship will remain vacant until the WBA sets up a title fight, which would likely be between Chagaev and the 42-year-old Fres Oquendo or interim champion Luis Ortiz.

 
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