Lucas Browne: I asked for VADA testing, why would I then cheat?
WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne has gone public for the first time since being accused of doping by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on March 6 of this year.
The 36 year-old gave a sample the day after defeating Ruslan Chagaev to become Australia’s first world heavyweight champion, which came back with traces of banned substance Clenbuterol in the results published on Monday.
Browne now faces a fight to keep hold of the coveted belt he fought so hard to gain, and so faced the gathered media this week (Tuesday night in Australia, Wednesday morning in the west) to assure his supporters that he will fight the allegations all the way.
“I am completely innocent. Unfortunately, social media runs wild with things like this,” said Browne.
Asked how he would clear his name, Browne responded: “I have no idea about the ‘cleared’ aspect of it. (But) I am confident where I stand, I am completely innocent and the team and everyone else has the right intentions with everything that’s going.
“A lot of people I thought were friends are now jumping on the bandwagon, saying I’m a cheat when they don’t really know the story. I would like to assure all my fans, the whole of the boxing world and all of Australia that I am not a drug user or a drug cheat.”
‘Big Daddy’ also pointed out that his team asked for VADA to be involved with testing in the fight as Chagaev’s previous opponent Fres Oquendo also gave a positive sample after they fought last year.
“It would be completely stupid for me to take something knowing we’re going to be tested,” he pointed out. “We outsourced it ourselves, so again it would be completely stupid for me to take something knowing we’re going to be tested … it doesn’t make sense.
“My team and I were well aware of the many risks involved in going to a place like Chechnya to fight a reigning champion and believed we had taken sufficient precautions.
“In addition it was at our insistence that VADA testing was implemented for the fight,” added Browne.