LUCAS BROWNE has been stripped of the secondary WBA heavyweight title he won from Ruslan Chagaev and banned for six months following a failed drugs test.

Browne tested positive for Clenbuterol – essentially a fatburnter – after his March 5 stoppage win over Chagaev in Chechnya, Russia. The banned substance was found in his ‘A’ sample by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), who conducted the testing for the bout.

The results for Browne’s ‘B’ sample were released yesterday, and they corroborated the results of the ‘A’ sample. In response to this, the WBA have stripped Browne and returned their belt to Chagaev, who now has 120 days to negotiate a fight with Fres Oquendo.

The WBA have suspended Browne for six months, meaning he will be eligible for their rankings again on September 5. The sport’s other sanctioning bodies and commissions are not however bound by the WBA’s ruling, meaning Browne can still pursue other options.

The Australian maintains he did not knowingly ingest clenbuterol, and the tests he took before arriving in Russia all came back negative. As the test he failed was so close to the contest, the WBA elected to hand down their minimum suspension length of six months.

In response, Browne said: “I’m leaving everything to my lawyer. I thank everyone for their support, especially the people and fans of Australia.”

WBC world super-featherweight champion Francisco Vargas also recently tested positive for clenbuterol ahead of his June 4 title defence against Orlando Salido. The Mexican claims it entered his system due to contaminated meat.

Despite this, the WBC and the California State Athletic Commission are allowing the bout to go ahead, and for Vargas to keep his belt should he win.