Heavyweight contender Lucas Browne has failed another drugs test ahead of his proposed WBA 'regular' world title fight with Shannon Briggs, reports Sky Sports.
The 37-year-old tested positive for a known muscle recovery substance called Ostarine in a test taken by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as part of the WBC's Clean Boxing Program. Browne can request that his B sample be tested but it remains to be seen whether he will go down that route.
The Australian enrolled in the Clean Boxing Program in July after having the version of WBA title he won against Ruslan Chagaev in March stripped because he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.
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He was suspended for six months and the belt was given back to the Russian but he has since had it stripped from him for failing to pay the sanctioning fees to the WBA.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said: "We have been notified by VADA about Browne's adverse finding as he was tested under the CBP. He has been notified, and the process is being attended as per the protocol."
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The positive test comes as a surprise as Browne has been so adamant that he didn't deliberately dope the first time around. When he opted in to the Clean Boxing Program, he said: "By voluntarily enrolling in this program, I am able to be randomly tested at any time, 365 days of the year.
"I have absolutely no issues with this, as I am a clean athlete and I believe boxing needs this kind of regulation. I welcome this aspect of safety for the sport of boxing. I despise all drugs, whether they are performance-enhancing or recreational.
"Having always been a clean athlete, I am totally opposed to any form of doping. I've always felt that cheaters in professional boxing should be banned for life. With 21 KOs in my 24 victories, I'm of the same opinion as Deontay Wilder - if I was ever to use PEDs, I might end up killing someone."
Due to fight Shannon Briggs
Browne had been due to fight Shannon Briggs for the WBA 'Regular' World Title but the fight hadn't been set for a particular date or venue as yet and now it has been thrown in to complete jeopardy by these doping revelations.
His potential withdrawal may open the door for David Haye to fight Briggs as the Brit is highly ranked by the WBA and has been courted openly by the American for a bout all year.