Lucas Browne, the Australian professional boxer and former mixed martial artist, has vehemently denied doping allegations. The WBA heavyweight boxing champion insisted that his urine and blood test taken six days before his fight against Ruslan Chagaev was negative.
Browne, who previously held the Commonwealth and Australian heavyweight titles, and his team are presently investigating how the current WBA (Regular) heavyweight champion could have ingested the banned substance Clenbuterol. The boxer and his team, Hatton Promotions, both issued statements wherein they claimed Browne was clean when he arrived six days before the bout. Both claimed they have evidence to back their claims. Browne was tested shortly after his arrival in Chechnya on February 29 by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. The blood and urine samples of Browne were tested by VADA and the results came back negative as claimed by Hatton Promotions.
Browne, who himself requested the bout to be subject to VADA testing, said he wants to make it clear that he had at this stage no reason to take issue with the VADA testing of him in around the fight. The former mixed martial artist said he has no reason to believe that his B sample, given the result of the A sample, will provide any different result to the A sample. The 36-year-old said his team's investigations will now concentrate on the period of time between the clean test on 29 February and the fight itself on March 5 and added he maintains that he did not knowingly consume any banned substance, including the Clenbuterol found in his system in that time. Browne said he ate only at the hotel he was staying at in Grozny and at a meal following the weigh-in. Browne said the water he drank on the night of the fight came from sealed bottles.
Browne said at a media conference in Perth that he was ready to take a polygraph test and hair drug test, if required and said he was not very confident of retaining his WBA belt because the decision was out of his hands. The professional boxer from Australia said he might have been a victim of sabotage. Browne remarked he and his team 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.
Browne, 24-0 with 21 knockouts, became the first Australian fighter to hold a recognized world belt in the heavyweight division after his win over Chagaev, the reigning WBA heavyweight champion from Uzbekistan. Browne became the Australian heavyweight champion on February 17, 2012 by knocking out Colin Wilson in three rounds. Browne bagged the limelight when he defeated the three-weight division world champion and future hall of famer James Toney by twelve round unanimous decision. A few months later, Lucas Browne stopped former NABF heavyweight champion Travis Walker in seven rounds. Browne scored a fifth round KO of Éric Martel-Bahoéli on April 26, 2014 to claim the Commonwealth heavyweight title.
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