Sam Soliman retains number one status with the IBF

Middleweight Sam Soliman remains on top of the rankings with the International Boxing Federation whilst the former Contender star awaits the result of an appeal against a nine-month ban for an alleged failed drugs test.

The 39 year-old, who overcame one-time 160lb king Felix Sturm in February on the ex-champion’s home soil, was subsequently found to have an illegal substance in his system, according to testers in Germany and suspended with the result of the fight amended.

Soliman will now hope to challenge the winner of the upcoming IBF title bout between Daniel Geale and Darren Barker in August and believes the IBF’s decision is the first step on the road to clearing his name.

“The IBF’s decision acknowledges I did not knowingly take any substance that was performance-enhancing and that I did not take any substance that was listed as banned in the IBF bout agreement that I signed for the Sturm fight,” Soliman said via a statement.

“I am extremely grateful and relieved with the result.

“My determination to become the IBF’s world middleweight champion is unwavering. I’m back on track and it’s a good feeling. I’m only two fights away from tasting the glory. I’m training hard and am in the best form of my boxing career.”

The likeable Australian now hopes to get back to what he does best, with an announcement on Soliman’s next opponent due in the coming fortnight.