Heavyweight Lucas Browne, who on March 5 knocked out Ruslan Chagaev in the 10th round to win a secondary heavyweight world title in Grozny, Russia, failed his postfight drug test and likely will be stripped of the belt and have the result changed to a no-decision.
Browne, whose status as the first Australian heavyweight to win a world title is in jeopardy, tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol in a urine test conducted by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which conducted the testing for the fight.
VADA confirmed the positive test in an email sent to several people involved in the fight on Monday.
ESPN.com obtained a copy of the letter in which VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman wrote, "This letter is to advise you that the 'A' sample urine specimen number 2998060 collected from Lucas Browne ... has been analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists and stimulants. The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains Clenbuterol."
Goodman went on to write, "Mr. Browne has the right to promptly request analysis of the 'B' sample at his expense."
In Australia, Browne awoke to word of the positive drug test took to social media.
I don't understand today's news, and I'm seeking legal advice...— Lucas Browne (@bigdaddybrowne1) March 21, 2016
"I am not a drug user or a drug cheat," Browne said in a statement released through his promoters. "I will be fighting for as long as it takes to clear my name."
Said his promoter, Ricky Hatton: "We believe Lucas Browne to be a clean athlete who arrived in Chechnya a clean athlete. We are therefore conducting our own further investigations and cannot comment further at this time."
Browne suggested the positive test could have resulted from sabotage.
"`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," he said. "In addition it was at our insistence that VADA testing was implemented for the fight."
Browne (24-0, 21 KOs), 36, rallied for the biggest win of his career after Chagaev, a 37-year-old southpaw from Uzbekistan, dropped Browne hard with a straight left hand with 35 seconds left in the sixth round.
In the 10th round, Browne, cut over his left eye and on his forehead, landed a flush right hand on Chagaev's chin, which sent him staggering backward and down with a minute to go. Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs) beat the count but was in rough shape.
Browne went right after him and landed nearly 20 unanswered punches -- mostly right hands -- before referee Stanley Christodoulou stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 27 seconds.
Browne was next due to face mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo by June in a bout that is part of a tournament designed to whittle the WBA's titleholders from three -- recognized world champion Tyson Fury, Browne and interim titlist Luis Ortiz -- to one.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.