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Alexander Besputin’s “B” sample comes back positive, Razhab Butaev responds

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Besputin took a competitive decision over Butaev in November

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Anthony Crolla Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Way back in November of last year, Alexander Besputin won a battle of Russian unbeatens, narrowly edging out Radzhab Butaev for the WBA “world” welterweight title. 1.5 months later, ESPN reported that Besputin had failed a drug test. A couple months after that, Besputin revealed that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had delayed the opening of his “B” sample. Now, finally, we have the results: also positive for the banned SARM ligandrol.

Butaev (12-1, 9 KO) and his team have sent out a lengthy response, asserting that Besputin (14-0, 9 KO) could not have possibly ingested the substance by mistake and that the latter stonewalled the VADA testing process.

“From the moment Besputin refused to start VADA testing for weeks before the bout, even after I paid all the fees for him and myself, he still did not want to sign and return the VADA paperwork, I believe that whatever he and his team were hiding literally helped him survive our fight, but justice has triumphed.”

The WBA has yet to rule on the situation; one would expect them to strip Besputin, who becomes the second newfound champion in recent months to blow a drug test after Alejandra Jimenez. Hopefully that will net Butaev a shot at the freshly stripped belt, but seeing as the WBA booted him all the weight down to eighth in their rankings, anything could happen. I would not be opposed to Butaev against #1 Yordenis Ugas, though, so fingers crossed for that matchup.