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Former Heavyweight Champion Briggs Failed Drug Test

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Former heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs of the United States shows up at a press conference of boxer Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, right, during a press conference ahead of Klitschko's IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA heavyweight title bout against challenger Alex Leapai from Australia-Samoa in Duesseldorf, Germany, April 22, 2014. Photo: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Two-time heavyweight boxing world champion Shannon Briggs has tested positive for testosterone, the World Boxing Association (WBA) announced.

The 45-year-old’s positive test was confirmed by the organization, with the American boxer’s next fight now canceled.

Briggs was due to fight 44-year-old Puerto Rican Fres Oquendo on June 3 in Florida. The clash would have decided the vacant WBA regular title.

“Heavyweight Shannon Briggs tested positive for testosterone following a Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) test as part of the WBA Fair Boxing program,” a WBA statement read.

“Briggs, who is scheduled to fight Fres Oquendo for the WBA regular heavyweight title has the right to request the testing of the B-sample.

“WBA directors will comply with due process and respect Briggs’ legitimate right to defend before ruling on it.”

ESPN claimed the test by the VADA had shown “dramatically increased levels of testosterone.”

The fight against Oquendo was due to be Briggs’ 69th fight of his professional career.

He has won his last nine fights since a loss to Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko in 2010, when he was comprehensively beaten while challenging for the world title.

Briggs last won a world title back in 2006, when he beat Belarus’ Sergey Liakhovich.

Last November, the WBA ordered Briggs to fight Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne for the regular title.

Browne had defeated Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev in March 2016, but was later stripped after he tested positive for drugs, resulting in his fight with Briggs not going ahead.

By Michael Pavitt

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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