Lucas Big Daddy” Browne of Australia is upping the ante in his quest to clear his name and regain his championship by voluntarily enrolling in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program.
The hard-punching Browne (24-0, 21 KOs) stopped Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev in round 10 last March in Grozny, Russia, to become Australia’s first-ever heavyweight champion. The dramatic victory, however, was nullified and Browne’s championship was stripped away and returned to Chagaev, post-fight, after he reportedly tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.
Browne, who tested completely clean in a random drug test by VADA six days before the fight against Chagaev, staunchly maintains his innocence of purposefully taking any banned substance ever, and says he is taking steps to ensure he is never again accused of cheating.
“I’m proud to announce that I am now part of the Clean Boxing Program, which is being run by the WBC and VADA,” said Browne. “By voluntarily enrolling in this program I am able to be randomly tested at any time, 365 days of the year.”
Browne, who was the one who insisted that VADA perform drug testing before the Chagaev fight, says the decision to join the program was an easy one to make. “I have absolutely no issues with this, as I am a clean athlete and I believe boxing needs this kind of regulation. I welcome this aspect of safety for the sport of boxing. I despise all drugs, whether they be performance-enhancing or recreational.”
Browne’s manager, Matt Clark, says that by becoming Australia’s first fighter to volunteer for the program, his fighter will hopefully start a trend.
“Lucas is Australia’s premier boxer and resents drugs of any kind,” said Clark. “We hope that other fighters from around the world join Lucas and sign up for the program. Anything that makes boxing safer is a good thing.”
Browne and Clark say they are still fighting “tooth and nail” to clear his name and thank the public for the tremendous support they have received, worldwide.
“Having always been a clean athlete, I am totally opposed to any form of doping,” Browne concluded. “I’ve always felt that cheaters in professional boxing should be banned for life. With 21 KOs in my 21 victories, I’m of the same opinion as (current WBC World Heavyweight Champion) Deontay Wilder: If I was ever to use PED drugs, I might end up killing someone!”