Two-weight world champion and all-round boxing great Nigel Benn has spoken to WBN this week regarding the shocking news that Lucas Browne failed a drug test in the wake of his WBA title victory.
Browne trained with Benn in his native Australia in preparation to challenge Ruslan Chagaev for the heavyweight crown on March 5 and went on to stop the Uzbek in the tenth round of their Grozny clash.
A day later, ‘Big Daddy’ was tested at his own request by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and on Monday, the results came back that Browne had tested positive for Clenbuterol – a decongestant linked to steroids.
Benn revealed his shock at VADA’s findings but had thoughts of his own concerning the possibility of sabotage in Chechnya that has been inadvertently proposed by Browne and his UK promoter Ricky Hatton.
“First of all I would like to say that Lucas one of the nicest boxers I have ever come into contact with,” Benn exclusively told World Boxing News on Wednesday, just hours after Browne appeared on TV to protest his innocence.
“Lucas has been working so hard to get himself in that position and to then fall at the last hurdle is questionable. Did he really risk it all by taking something he shouldn’t? – It doesn’t seem right.
“He’s done everything right in the build-up and now it seems that someone is trying to bring him down. Who knows what they put in his food or drink?
“All we can do is just pray that he will get the victory in court, or wherever he has to go to get justice, and then hopefully he can go on to better things.
“Lucas Brown has so much in store and so much to offer the sport. It’s my view that he will only get better in the future,” he added.
As things stand, it doesn’t look good for Browne despite his public denials as a B sample failure would see the WBA have no choice but to strip him of his title.
The rugged Aussie would then have to follow other means in a bid to clear his name, and at the same time fend off the stigma that comes with a reputable testing organisation revealing negative results.