PERTH, Australia (AP) — WBA heavyweight boxing champion Lucas Browne again insisted he’s innocent of doping on Wednesday, saying a urine and blood test he took six days before his fight against Ruslan Chagaev was negative.
The Australian boxer tested positive for the banned steroid clenbuterol, which boosts one’s metabolism and burns fat, after beating Chagaev in the 10th round of their fight in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya in Russia, on March 5.
On Wednesday in Perth, Australia, Browne said he was randomly tested on his arrival to Russia on Feb. 29 by the Las Vegas-based Volunteer Anti-Doping Association and the test came back negative, proving he was “a clean athlete” when he entered the country.
He said his team was investigating the period in between his arrival and the night of the fight to determine why the second test was positive.
“I made it clear to the public last week that I intended to do all that I can to clear my name after the devastating news of the positive drugs test,” Browne said.
“I am now able to report to you that on Feb. 29 shortly after arriving in Chechnya, I was subjected to a randomly timed drugs test by VADA. This was a test of blood and urine. The post-fight test was a urine-only test.
“I would like to again stress it was myself and my team who requested the bout be subject to VADA testing.
I now hold clear and unequivocal evidence that this was a negative test and shows clearly that I arrived in Chechnya a clean athlete.”
Last week, he suggested he might have been a victim of sabotage.
“My team and I were well aware of the many risks involved in going to a place like Chechnya to fight a reigning champion and believed we had taken sufficient precautions,” he said.
On Wednesday, he reiterated his innocence, adding that he didn’t believe having his “B’’ sample tested from the post-fight test would make any difference because “I have no reason to believe that the ‘B’ sample will have any different results to the ‘A’ sample.”
“I maintain that I did not knowingly consume any banned substance,” he added, “including the clenbuterol found in my system in that time.”
The 34-year-old Browne became the first Australian fighter to hold a recognized world belt in the heavyweight division with his win over Chagaev, the reigning WBA heavyweight champion from Uzbekistan.
Browne, 24-0 with 21 knockouts, was knocked down in the sixth round but fought back and knocked Chagaev to the canvas in the 10th. The referee stopped the fight later in that round.