Recently crowned WBA heavyweight titlist Lucas Browne, who made history by becoming the first Australian to win a portion of the world heavyweight title with his stunning stoppage win over Ruslan Chagaev, is today seeking legal advice after reports surfaced saying he failed a drugs test.
According to a story broken by ESPN.com and subsequently picked up by a vast number of publications and web sites, Browne tested positive for the metabolism booster, Clenbuterol. Browne, responding to the report via his Twitter page, insists he knows nothing about these events and that he will seek the advice of a lawyer immediately.
“I don’t understand today’s news, and I’m seeking legal advice,” Browne Tweeted.
The urine test Browne failed was carried out by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association – VADA – and Dr. Margaret Goodman e-mailed the findings to Fairfax Media, as reported by ESPN.
“The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains Clenbuterol,” Goodman wrote.
At this time Browne deserves the benefit of the doubt, as his team reportedly has the results of a pre-fight test – also done by VADA nine days before he arrived in Chechnya for the fight – and these results are, his team reportedly claim, clean. If Browne’s team can indeed produce such results, there will perhaps be speculation from his team that Browne could have inadvertently ingested something whilst in Chechnya – water or food – that contained the banned drug.
It is certainly hoped Browne – a fighter who gave us all a great, feel-good moment with the exciting upset win over Chagaev – is innocent. The sport has seen too many examples of a hero boxer seeing his reputation sullied due to the taking of illegal stimulants. If Browne is not able to mount a case to show his innocence, he will lose his belt, be handed a fine and almost certainly a suspension.
Depressing news indeed. Browne, a good addition to the elite heavyweights, was all set for a number of potentially thrilling, big fights against possible foes Tyson Fury, David Haye and the Charles Martin-Anthony Joshua winner. Now, the 36-year-old’s career could be hit with a massive roadblock.