Australian heavyweight boxer Lucas Browne has failed a second drug test in the space of eight months, it has been announced.
In May, Browne was stripped of his World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight title after both his “A” and “B” samples tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol.
The Australian had become his country’s first heavyweight world champion after a dramatic 10th round knockout of Uzbekistan rival Ruslan Chagaev on March 5 in Grozny, capital of Russia’s Chechen Republic.
He tested positive soon afterwards, but alleged his food was deliberately contaminated.
Browne was ultimately cleared with it deemed that he was “unlikely” to have taken the drug deliberately.
On his return to the sport in September he was reinstated in the top five of the WBA rankings and had been due to face American fighter Shannon Briggs for their vacant world heavyweight title before the close of the year.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) have now confirmed Browne has provided a positive sample in a test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) in Australia.
“The WBC has received notification from VADA regarding an adverse finding from a test performed in Australia to boxer Lucas Browne,” a WBC statement read.
“The WBC CBP [Clean Boxing Program] will follow its protocol and has begun its investigation of the facts and will be updating information about this case in the near future.
“Lucas Browne enrolled in the CBP in a voluntary basis and will certainly have the opportunity to request the opening of the B sample according to protocol and the CBP Rules and regulations.”
Browne, who has won 21 of his 24 fights by knockout, reportedly tested positive for the substance ostarine.
The banned substance is claimed to have a similar effect to anabolic steroids, which aid muscle growth.
His management, Hatton Promotions, state they fully support the WBC program and will conduct a thorough investigation.
“For a man and a team who fought so hard to clear his name following what is now universally accepted to have been a deliberate contamination of products he ingested prior to his March fight with Ruslan Chagaev, this is a bitter blow,” a statement read.
“Lucas was cleared of any deliberate wrongdoing a few months ago and we feel it would be somewhat unfair and incorrect for anyone to suggest that the results of his latest test bring the outcome of his previous exoneration into question.
“With a man’s livelihood and reputation at stake, we feel it is only right and proper to make thorough investigations before commenting on the circumstances of this latest test result.
“Even though he has no WBC ranking to protect and is in a position for a mandatory WBA world title fight, Lucas entered the WBC Clean Boxing program voluntarily.
“We do not feel that is the action of a man who wishes to intentionally take performance enhancing drugs.
“As such, we will be working closely with Lucas’ team and his lawyer, Leon Margules, to conduct a thorough investigation into the supplements Lucas has been advised to take on a day to day basis.
“We will also look into any prescribed medication he has been given in order to seek out the source of the alleged banned substance.”
By Michael Pavitt
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.