Artur Beterbiev’s title defence towards Callum Smith will go forward on Saturday, with the champion cleared to battle after returning an ‘atypical’ drug-test end result.
It was revealed on Thursday (11 January) that Beterbiev had returned an atypical end in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) check in mid-December. However, the unified light-heavyweight champion has since examined unfavourable and been cleared to compete.
Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn mentioned there was by no means a contractual purpose to cancel the battle, as a result of Beterbiev’s end result was atypical relatively than ‘adverse’, whereas journalist Kevin Iole reported: “An atypical finding is not a violation and requires more testing, and Beterbiev underwent those examinations at Vada’s request. Vada reported negative results from the follow-up tests, from urine tests on Dec 15 and Dec 21 and from blood tests on Dec 21 and Jan 3.
“Beterbiev had received atypical findings for human growth hormone (HGH) and 5D-androstanediol. Both occur naturally in the body. When an atypical finding is received, further testing is required to determine if an athlete naturally produces the substance in his or her body at a greater level than average or if the elevated levels were signs of anti-doping.”
Vada founder and chair Margaret Goodman informed Boxing News: “Atypical findings are fairly common in PED [performance-enhancing drug] testing and do not constitute an adverse test result. They can result from various causes. Atypical findings generally warrant the collection of further samples, but no negative inference should be drawn from an atypical finding in and of itself.”
Smith informed the publication: “It’s not a passed test, it’s not a failed test. The fight’s still happening, that’s the main thing. I’m not a scientist, I’m a fighter. I’m here to beat him, take his belts and go back home.”
Meanwhile, Beterbiev claimed in an announcement: “It has come to my attention that Callum intends to disseminate misleading information about my Vada testing program for this fight.
“Let me be clear now: I am a clean athlete. I have never tested positive for a banned substance throughout my amateur and professional career and I complied with all Vada requirements and protocols during the build-up to this fight. Any attempt to imply otherwise, through innuendo or suggestion is slanderous and libelous.
“This conduct is beyond acceptable trash talk in combat sports. Callum is already searching for excuses, looking for a way out. See you Saturday.”
Russian Beterbiev, who fights out of Canada, has an expert document of 19-0 with 19 knockouts. The 38-year-old is ready to defend the WBC, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles towards Liverpool’s Smith in Quebec City on Saturday. Smith, 33, is a former super-middleweight world champion with only one loss on his professional document – towards Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2020.
Hearn revealed on Thursday that Beterbiev has signed to battle fellow Russian Dmitry Bivol in Saudi Arabia this yr, in a highly-anticipated unification bout. Bivol, 33, holds the WBA light-heavyweight belt and can also be unbeaten. Hearn added that Beterbiev should beat Smith to make sure his bout with Bivol goes forward.
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