The World Boxing Association have moved to comment on several reports of a failed drug test by mandatory contender Shannon Briggs.
Rumors grew over the weekend that the former heavyweight champion had given a positive sample, which has now been backed up by the WBA.
Briggs was due to fight Fres Oquendo in June for the WBA regular title as part of a top division tournament to crown one sole ruler, although ‘The Cannon’ has some explaining to do before any contest goes ahead in the future.
A WBA statement passed to WBN read: “Heavyweight Shannon Briggs tested positive for testosterone following a Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) test as part of the WBA Fair Boxing program.
“Briggs, who is scheduled fight Fres Oquendo for the WBA regular heavyweight title has the right to request the testing of B Sample.
“WBA Directors will comply with due process and respect Briggs legitimate right to defend before ruling on it.”
The likeliness of Briggs v Oquendo still going ahead remains remote, whilst the next contender in line is Alexander Ustinov – who fought in Bolton last Friday.
It’s possible Ustinov could be pushed through should Oquendo agree to delay the Hollywood contest by a couple of weeks, whilst Briggs could want more time to protest his innocence meaning a further wait for ‘Fast Fres’.
Oquendo has already been waiting three years since his last opportunity against Ruslan Chagaev having suffered injuries and disruption in the meantime.
A formal announcement on a Briggs v Oquendo cancellation is expected to be made by promoters this week.