Thursday, August 11, 2022  |



Lucian Bute tests positive for banned substance after draw with Jack

Photo by Francis Vachon

Photo: Francis Vachon

Another day has brought the news of another case of doping in boxing.

Lucian Bute tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine in a post-fight drug test after he fought to a draw with WBC super middleweight titleholder Badou Jack on April 30 at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.

The WBC announced the news on Thursday afternoon in a statement after it had been informed by the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission of the test result. Bute was a replacement for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who was in talks to face Jack but pulled out of the Showtime-televised card with a foot injury. Bute later released a statement claiming his innocence and insisting the “B” sample will come back negative.

“The D. C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission will follow its rules and regulations regarding antidoping and will be in consultation with the WBC and its Clean Boxing Program,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said in a statement of its partnership with VADA. “Further news will be known in the coming days.”

A source at the D.C. Commission said that Bute could be fined or suspended and may be called in to have a hearing to be questioned on his actions. The commission also plans on contacting the WBC when it comes to meting out punishment to make sure they are both in agreement, the source said. The fight will likely be changed to a no-decision.

Ostarine, which is also known as Enobosarm, can be used by athletes for the purpose of improving stamina and endurance, mirroring the results that one can get by using steroids. It was put on WADA’s banned list in 2008.

Bute did not admit guilt in a statement he released on Thursday night: ”I am surprised and sorry about this,” he said. “I don’t understand what led to this positive result. I have always passed every anti-doping test that I was asked to take since I won a world title. More recently for my fight against James DeGale, in Quebec City, last November, I was tested eight times from before my training camp until after my fight. I have never taken any illegal products. There will be an analysis of the B sample and I am sure that this result will be negative.”

The 36-year-old Bute (32-3-1, 25 knockouts) came on late in the fight with Jack, showing a resurgence to earn the majority draw by scores of 114-114, 114-114 and 117-111 for Jack. Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs)) was making the second defense of his WBC title against Bute, a former IBF super middleweight titleholder of Romanian-Canadian descent.

Bute’s positive drug test continues an uneasy run of recent doping in the sport. Alexander Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, forcing the cancellation of his heavyweight title fight with Deontay Wilder last Saturday. Lucas Browne was found to have tested positive for clenbuterol following his 10th-round knockout of Ruslan Chagaev on March 5 for a secondary heavyweight title. Browne has been suspended for six months and stripped of his title.

Then there’s the case of junior lightweight titleholder Francisco Vargas, who also tested positive for clenbuterol. Vargas says he ate contaminated meat in his native Mexico and will be allowed to fight Orlando Salido on June 4 on HBO if he passes his remaining drug tests.