In more bad news for the heavyweight division and for Lucas Browne in particular, it has been reported – by Ring and by ESPN.com – that the Australian heavyweight has failed a second drugs test. According to the WBC, Browne – who vehemently insists he did not knowingly take the banned substance clenbuterol ahead of his March fight with Ruslan Chagaev – tested positive for ostarine, a stamina-increasing substance.
Browne enrolled in VADA back in July, insisting he has nothing to hide, but this failed second test looks to have put an end to his WBA-ordered fight with Shannon Briggs for a version of the title (still, the Alexander Povetkin-Bermane Stiverne fight, for the interim WBC belt, is still going ahead, despite Stiverne testing positive for an illegal substance, so you never know).
Browne has yet to comment on this, his second failed drugs test. Browne sued the WBA and won his case in the form of the WBA allowing him to meet Briggs for a version of their heavyweight title. But now, Browne’s entire career could be hanging in the balance.
“VADA has reported an adverse finding on Lucas Browne during a random out of competition test under the CBP, which Browne enrolled voluntarily,” WBC President Sulaiman informed RingTV.com yesterday. “There will be the process according to protocol. He has the right to open sample B and there will be a full investigation. Each case is different, and it is investigated separately.”
Fight fans, already weary of the extent of drug taking in the sport, either alleged or proven, are sure to be depressed even further with this news. Not only is Browne-Briggs, a good fight, now in doubt, the thought crosses the mind of fans that nearly every fighter is cheating in one way or another.
It’s clear to see that drugs/steroids/illegal substances, etc, are a huge problem in boxing today. Let’s hope that, somehow, Browne can prove his innocence.
As for Briggs, he recently stated his bad intentions ahead of the Browne fight, promising to hurt Browne. The 44-year-old will be dismayed if this, an unlikely title shot that appeared for him, is now a no-go.