Another BLACK EYE for the sport as WORLD CHAMPION is STRIPPED, SUSPENDED for DRUGS
Kenichi Ogawa has been stripped of his IBF super-featherweight title and suspended for six months following a failed drug test stemming from his clash with Tevin Farmer late last year.
In what was seen as a highly-controversial victory, Ogawa out-pointed Farmer via split decision at the Mandalay Bay on December 9.
Farmer and promoter Lou DiBella subsequently lobbied the outcome successfully, although Ogawa’s adverse finding for androstanediol has now ruled him out of a rematch.
Despite a post-fight test by VADA coming back clean, Ogawa’s pre-fight was the problem and means the Japanese fighter has lost his world champion status.
At the same Nevada hearing that saw Canelo Alvarez banned for six months, Ogawa has handed the same punishment despite protesting his innocence on how the synthetic steroid ended up in his system.
Like Canelo, Ogawa’s initial one-year suspension was dropped by half due to full cooperation by the ex-world title holder and his team, although unlike the Mexican, a fine was imposed.
The Farmer fight will now be changed to a no-contest as the American battles Australian Billy Dib for the vacant belt in the coming months.
Following the outcome, Ogawa released a statement on the matter.
“One cannot deny that the tests were positive. But I never intentionally took a banned substance. We will cooperate fully so the cause can be discovered,” said the fighter.
Japanese media are currently speculating whether Ogawa’s skin condition medication could have been the problem, after submitting a request to the NSAC previously.