Worrying stat shows five of the world's top 10 heavyweight boxers have now failed drug tests

Anthony Joshua v Jarrell Miller - Press Conference

Jarrell Miller was at the centre of unwanted attention last week when it emerged that he had been denied a boxing licence to fight Anthony Joshua for failing three drug tests.

The 30-year-old known as 'Big Baby' tested positive for GW501516, EPO and HGH.

He admitted to "messing up" in an emotional confession posted on Instagram, but the findings by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) painted a worrying picture for heavyweight boxing in general.

Shockingly, five of the current top 10 heavyweight fighters have now failed drug tests.

Tyson Fury had a planned rematch against Wladimir Klitschko cancelled in September 2016 after testing positive for cocaine, whilst Dillian Whyte failed a test for the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine in October 2012.

Alexander Povetkin tested positive for meldonium in May 2016 and Luis Ortiz was found to have traces of diuretics chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide in September 2017.

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Kubrat Pulev, Joseph Parker and Dominic Breazeale are the only boxers in the current BoxRec top 10 with a clean record.

The former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has suggested that the issue could be curtailed by introducing VADA testing earlier in boxers' careers.

"There’s no place in boxing for PEDs, simple as that," he said. "Those caught cheating should be severely penalised to a point where they would never ever consider it again."

Boxing at Olympia London

"Not all fighters making their way up in the ranks are required to have VADA testing, so they may think they can use them to get up to a certain level and then stop. But it becomes a mental thing afterward.

"When you strip a man of his edge, take his cape away, he’s not so bold."

VADA has struggled for funding in recent years, and at present, higher-end fighters are required to pay them to secure their involvement.

As the World Boxing Council's Clean Boxing Program also only covers the top 15 fighters, there are concerns that the issue may not be easily stopped.

Meanwhile, Miller will have to watch Joshua's next fight on June 1 from the sidelines pondering what might have been.

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