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IN Sports ON 26 Nov, 2016
Just seven months after testing positive for Clenbuterol, Lucas 'Big Daddy' Browne has tested positive for Ostarine, a banned substance used to aid muscle recovery.
Browne, whose current boxing record stands at 24-0 with 21 knockouts, made history last March by becoming the first Australian heavyweight world champion after winning the WBA (World Boxing Association) Regular title, besting Ruslan Chagaev in his native Russia.
Shortly after the fight, Browne tested positive for Clenbuterol, a powerful drug used to treat asthma that can also be used to build muscle and lose fat. He was stripped of his title and banned for six months. Browne claimed that it was accidental and that a product he had been using was deliberately contaminated. He was later cleared after the WBA accepted that Browne didn't voluntarily ingest the banned substance and that the single small dose ingested would have provided no competitive advantage to him.
In an attempt to restore his name, Browne volunteered to take part in the WBC's (World Boxing Commission) 'Clean Boxing Programme'. It is through this programme that he has tested positive for Ostarine.
The Australian boxer has been relatively quiet across social media since the positive test. His promotion company, Hatton Promotions, released an official statement on the matter, saying:
"Clearly the tests are hugely disappointing for the company and for Lucas himself."
"For a man and a team who fought so hard to clear his name following what is now universally accepted to have been a deliberate contamination of products he ingested prior to his fight with Ruslan Chagaev, this is a bitter blow"
"Lucas was cleared of any deliberate wrongdoing a few months ago and we feel it would be somewhat unfair and incorrect for anyone to suggest that the results of his latest test bring the outcome of his previous exoneration into question."
"Even though he has no WBC ranking to protect and is in a position for a mandatory WBA world title fight, Lucas entered the WBC Clean Boxing Program voluntarily.''
"We do not feel that is the action of a man who wishes to intentionally take performance enhancing drugs."
Browne won't be the only boxer to feel disappointment at the announcement. Browne was due to fight Shannon 'The Cannon' Briggs for the vacant WBA 'regular' title before the end of the year.
Briggs, who holds a record of 60-6-1 with 53 KO's, had his pro debut in 1992 and has fought some legendary names such as George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko. After a break from the sport he made a comeback in 2014 and has won his last 9 fights.
Briggs has been clamoring for a world title shot, having gained Internet notoriety for following and pestering current fighters such as Vladimir Klitschko and David Haye in an attempt to goad them into accepting a fight with him, repeatedly using his now catchphrase: 'Let's Go Champ!'
Browne's treatment at the hands of Briggs has been much the same, with Briggs taunting Browne consistently over Instagram since the match up was announced.
This would have been Briggs' first title shot since his return, and his opportunity to become a two-time world champion, having won the WBO heavyweight title in 2006.
At this moment, Browne is entitled to request his B sample be tested to corroborate the results. It seems clear from his promotion's statement that they intend to fight to clear Browne's name once again, but in terms of any future fights with Briggs or his long-term career, it could be a knockout blow.