One of the year's most stunning victories might be tainted.
ESPN reports that newly-crowned WBA Heavyweight Champion Lucas Browne has tested positive for clenbuterol following his March 5th upset of Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny. Manager Ricky Hatton has not responded to the return, though Browne did take to Twitter this afternoon to proclaim his innocence.
I don’t understand today’s news, and I’m seeking legal advice...— Lucas Browne (@bigdaddybrowne1) March 21, 2016
Down on the cards, Browne (24-0, 21 KO) got off the canvas to knock out Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KO) in the tenth round for the aforementioned WBA title. It was a career-best win for the Aussie by a huge margin and this would be utterly devastating for his career, especially since "Big Daddy" is already thirty-six.
Clenbuterol has a long and storied history in professional sports, although you guys may remember it best as the thing Erik Morales tested positive for before his rematch with Danny Garcia. Morales claimed his result was due to tainted meat, which is in fact an issue in parts of the world, so maybe Browne has an excuse.
It's worth noting that while Russia (and, by extension, the Caucasus region) is infamous for its less-than-stellar drug testing, this test was performed by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), a well-respected program. Dr. Margaret Goodman, president of VADA, affirmed that Browne has the right to request his B-sample be tested.
We'll keep you posted as this story develops.