Exclusive: Sulaiman talks Vargas / Browne Clenbuterol controversy
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman gave an interview to WBN on Tuesday to reaffirm his stance that super featherweight world champion Francisco Vargas is a completely clean fighter.
Vargas had tested positive for Clenbuterol recently, the current hot topic drug in boxing, in preparations for his title defense against Orlando Salido on June 4. The Mexican was immediately exonerated due to what Sulaiman says are continued problems with meat in his home country.
‘El Bandido’ informed the WBC that it was something he ate during camp and the WBC took no further action after a thorough investigation of the Vargas case. Australian boxer Lucas Browne, in contrast, was given a six-month ban by the WBA for a similar incident in Grozny back in March after beating Ruslan Chagaev.
Browne also claimed that red meat was the culprit after testing negative pre-fight and positive post-fight, although the result of his victory has been scratched from the record.
The controversy surrounding the substance continues, and as Sulaiman pointed out, assessing boxers who test positive for Clenbuterol is becoming more and more difficult.
“Francisco Vargas has gone through at least five additional tests with all being negative results,” Sulaiman exclusively revealed to World Boxing News.
“There is a long story of Clenbuterol found in beef in Mexico and China, so the way the California commission and the WBC looked into the matter, I believe was completely fair.
“Vargas has proven he is a clean fighter, and even today we received a report of negative findings from anther test, so we are happy that it was what he ate in Mexico and he is completely innocent.
Asked if any conversations had been undertaken with WBA President Gilberto Mendoza regarding the similarity of cases involving Vargas and Browne, Sulaiman added: “We have not spoken about it and I am not familiar with the process of that fight.
“We can only rule on our specific case of Vargas at this time and I don’t know the details of Browne’s case. I am not even certain if the result was after the fight, but what I can say is that there’s a long precedent and list of problems – especially with the Mexican soccer team and the Olympic team – regarding Clenbuterol.
“Vargas went to America and had two tests there, then he came to Mexico to begin his training and he had a specific meat that his mother cooked – then lunch the next day. After that, there was a surprise test. Since then, all the different testing has been negative.
“It was a low dose of Clenbuterol and absolutely clear that it came from the meat, but I cannot compare it to Browne as I don’t know the facts about the case,” said Sulaiman.
Vargas, 31, defeated Takashi Miura in one of the fights of 2015 to claim the green belt last November and faces old warhorse Salido next month with the whole incident firmly behind him.
Lucas Brown, on the other hand, continues the fight to clear his name.