Heavyweight Lucas Browne fails VADA drug test, WBC says
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 22/11/16 12:46pm
Lucas Browne, who was due to fight for the vacant WBA heavyweight title, has reportedly failed a VADA drug test.
The 37-year-old (24-0-KO21) is scheduled to face America's former world champion Shannon Briggs (60-6-1-KO53), 44, for the WBA's 'regular' title, although the date and location of the bout has not yet been set.
Browne's A sample came back positive for the banned substance ostarine - which is used to aid muscle recovery - following a recent test in his native Australia by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as part of the WBC's Clean Boxing Program. He is entitled to request that the B sample be examined.
"We have been notified by VADA about Browne's adverse finding as he was tested under the CBP," WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN on Monday night. "He has been notified, and the process is being attended as per the protocol."
Browne enrolled in the WBC's Clean Boxing Program in July after having the WBA world title he won by knocking out Ruslan Chagaev in Russia in March stripped when he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.
Browne was suspended for six months by the WBA and the belt was returned to Chagaev, although the governing body subsequently ruled it was "unlikely" Browne deliberately took a performance-enhancing substance.
The belt became vacant in July when Chagaev was stripped for his failure to pay sanctioning fees to the WBA.
At the time of his enrolment in the WBC's Clean Boxing Program in the summer, Browne said: "By voluntarily enrolling in this program, I am able to be randomly [blood or urine] tested at any time, 365 days of the year.
"I have absolutely no issues with this, as I am a clean athlete and I believe boxing needs this kind of regulation. I welcome this aspect of safety for the sport of boxing. I despise all drugs, whether they are performance-enhancing or recreational.
"Having always been a clean athlete, I am totally opposed to any form of doping. I've always felt that cheaters in professional boxing should be banned for life. With 21 KOs in my 24 victories, I'm of the same opinion as (heavyweight titleholder) Deontay Wilder - if I was ever to use PEDs, I might end up killing someone."