Lucas Browne reasserts: ‘I am not a drug user or drug cheat’
Lucas Browne caused a ripple on the heavyweight scene when he stopped Ruslan Chagaev March 5 in Grozny, Russia.
More drama unfolded on Monday afternoon when ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported and Mitch Abramson of RingTV.com confirmed that the 36-year-old Browne had tested positive following the win for a banned substance, clenbuteral.
That chemical can be used to aid in weight loss and as a stimulant.
On Monday, Browne, a hulking Australian slugger signed to Ricky Hatton’s promotional outfit, took to Twitter to declare his innocence.
The next morning, he put out a statement which reiterated that stance. “I am not a drug user or drug cheat,” the former bar bouncer asserted. He says he will fight to clear his name.
The “A” sample is the one which was reportedly flagged. A “B” sample has yet to be tested. The testing agency VADA performed the screening.
Last year, the beefy Browne, who’d done cage fighting in addition to countless bar beefs, declared he’d started a regimen to get leaner and indeed, his physique in the last half year improved noticeably. He maintains no shortcuts were used leading up to or during his clash with the Uzbekistan native.
Promoter Hatton in a Tuesday morning statement seemingly implied that some subterfuge may be afoot, that Browne is a clean athlete who was clear of any banned substance when he entered Russia. They will conduct an independent investigation, they said.
A message to Browne on Monday asking him point blank if he is maintaining he didn’t take clenbuteral knowingly wasn’t returned.
The hitter, who debuted as a pro in 2009, went down in Round 6 and won kudos for hanging in and staying aloft, eventually stopping the lefty vet Chagaev in Round 10.
Chagaev, age 37, was billed as “the White Tyson” a decade ago, by promoters, but has been a WBA perennial. He beat Fres Oquendo in 2014, for a vacated title (the WBA’s “regular” title, which is not recognized by THE RING) and defended once, beating Francesco Pianeta.
The WBA put out this in response to the kerfuffle:
“The World Boxing Association and WBA Championships Committee hope this is a misunderstanding that can be resolved and have agreed to wait until an analysis of the ‘B’ sample is complete before rendering a decision regarding the situation.”