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Alycia Baumgardner Reportedly Failed PED Test, Possibly BEFORE Linardatou Fight (UPDATE)

Alycia Baumgardner Reportedly Failed PED Test featured image
Alycia Baumgardner has reportedly tested positive for the illegal anabolic steroid of mesterolone. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Undisputed super lightweight champion Alycia Baumgardner finds herself in a precarious situation following a report by BoxingScene indicating a failed drug test prior to her bout with Christina Linardatou. Baumgardner’s alleged test failure casts a shadow over her promising career. The urine samples were collected and analyzed by Drug Free Sports, the responsible party for the testing process.

According to the test report, Alycia Baumgardner (15-1, 7 KO’s) tested positive for a mesterolone metabolite, a prohibited substance known for its potential to elevate testosterone levels. While not among the most commonly used performance-enhancing drugs, mesterolone is classified as an illegal anabolic steroid by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The timeline presented in the report raises concerns, as it states that the sample was collected on July 12th by Drug Free Sports, but reached the lab a week later on July 19th, four days after Alycia Baumgardner’s match with Christina Linardatou (14-3, 6 KO’s). The final result, indicating the presence of mesterolone, was reported on August 10th.

The extended duration between sample collection and result reporting raises suspicions of a potential cover-up. Ideally, the results should have been available by the time of the Baumgardner-Linardatou fight on July 15th. However, the delay of nearly a month in revealing the findings is perplexing.

The standard timeline for processing a sample does not typically span a week, unless unusual circumstances are at play. The emergence of Alycia Baumgardner’s failed test adds another layer of complexity for Matchroom, which is already dealing with a series of PED-related incidents involving its fighters. Conor Benn (21-0, 14 KO’s), a long-time Matchroom signee, has drawn attention to this issue as well.

While Conor Benn has reportedly been cleared by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP), the independence of this organization raises questions about the thoroughness of the process. It remains to be seen whether the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) will challenge NADP’s decision, which could impact Benn’s ultimate fate.

Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KO’s), although associated with Matchroom on a fight-by-fight basis, is another recent example of a fighter linked to the promotion who tested positive. The details surrounding Whyte’s test results remain undisclosed.

The repeated instances of failed tests involving Matchroom-affiliated fighters, including the current case of Alycia Baumgardner, indicate a concerning trend. The timing of her sample collection, just days before her fight, and the delayed disclosure of results, present a challenge for Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn, particularly in light of Conor Benn’s previous drug test failure.

Alycia Baumgardner currently holds the distinction of being the undisputed champion in the women’s super lightweight division. Her journey to unified champion status in 2022 involved a closely contested battle against fellow American champion Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KO’s). Earlier this year, she added another world title to her collection in the division by defeating French contender Elhem Mekhaled (16-2, 3 KO’s).

The rematch between Baumgardner and Christina Linardatou on July 15th revisited their 2018 encounter, which Linardatou had won. This time, Baumgardner emerged victorious via unanimous decision. Notably, the involvement of VADA was absent from this particular instance, a departure from the norm in high-profile boxing contests.

Matchroom has issued a statement in response to recent developments:

Matchroom can confirm today that Alycia Baumgardner returned an adverse analytical finding as part of a random anti-doping protocol voluntarily implemented for her bout with Christina Linardatou in Detroit on 15 July,” Matchroom confirmed through their social media accounts.

The news of this result was first communicated to Matchroom on 12 August. Relevant regulatory authorities are also informed and we defer to these bodies for further action and guidance as a thorough investigation is conducted.

Matchroom is dedicated to upholding the principles of a clean and equitable sport for all athletes. We will stand by Alycia and her team during this period, ensuring proper due process is followed.

As we await further details, Matchroom will refrain from making any additional comments.

This recent development places substantial pressure on Matchroom, inevitably raising suspicions of their involvement in concealing the failed drug test. While their official statement indicates that they became aware of the result on August 12, it is notable that the sample had been collected a month earlier, yet it took almost a month for the results to surface.

While it does not explicitly implicate Matchroom, the delay in testing the actual sample is undeniably peculiar, leading to conjecture that Matchroom might have been privy to the failed test shortly after it was taken on July 12th. In any case, Matchroom is responsible for expediting the testing process, and they seem to have, at the very least, contributed to the testing delay.

On a separate note, Drug Free Sports is also facing significant scrutiny, as it took them an entire week for the sample to reach the lab. Furthermore, the determination of results took an entire month, despite the fact that urine samples can be tested and revealed within as short a period as 24 hours.

Update August 17th:

Alycia Baumgardner has since responded to the allegations of drug use, and maintains her innocence throughout:

On August 12, 2023, I was informed that an “A Sample” I provided on July 12, 2023 resulted in an “Adverse Analytical Finding” of mesterolone and methenolone acetate metabolites, two substances I’ve never heard of or used in any way,” Baumgardner stated in an official statement.

The sample provided immediately after my fight on July 15, 2023 tested clean and negative for all banned substances, as did my sample on June 16, 2023, which makes the July 12th result essentially impossible.

To be abundantly clear, I know that I never have, never would, and never will take this or any other drug. Not only would doing so be unethical, but it would also be completely contrary to how I’ve trained my entire career.

As a professional athlete, I and I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and my body is a temple. I am also a proud role model for any young woman or girl who seeks to follow in my footsteps. I take those responsibilities very seriously – which is why I know that I did not and would never put these substances in my body.

I have a lot more to say about my journey and why the very idea of me taking an illegal, banned, or even dangerous substance would never make sense. So I have no intention of sitting back in silence and letting this “play out”. I plan to keep you al updated every step of the way as I work to ensure my reputation as a clean athlete remains fully intact.

While the initial report indicated that Alycia Baumgardner had tested positive for mesterolone, her own statement clarifies that she also tested positive for methenolone. Both substances are classified as anabolic steroids and are prohibited according to WADA’s list of banned substances.

Baumgardner’s statement has added to the confusion. According to her, she had two separate samples tested, both of which were declared negative. One declared a negative result on the day of her fight with Linardatou, and the other on the day after. Drug Free Sports’ sample taken on July 12th, however, produced a positive result a month after, an extraordinarily long period for any sample to deduce whether an athlete tested negative or positive for a banned substance.