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Joe Cusumano Latest Fighter To Test Positive For PEDs

Joe Cusumano Latest Fighter To Test Positive For PEDs featured image
NEW YORK, NY - JUN 24: Adam Kownacki (blue tape) takes on Joe Cusumano (red tape) in a Heavyweight bout for Matchroom Boxing on June 24, 2023 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

American heavyweight Joe Cusumano has recently tested positive for steroids. This result is linked to his last fight, which took place in New York, where he defeated former top-rated heavyweight Adam Kownacki by TKO on June 24th. The event was held at the Madison Square Garden Theater and was headlined by Edgar Berlanga and Jason Quigley, with DAZN providing television and streaming coverage.

Joe Cusumano (22-4, 20 KO’s) was relatively unknown in the heavyweight division before facing the more renowned Adam Kownacki (20-4, 15 KO’s), who had been considered a contender for a world title before suffering two losses to Robert Helenius (32-5, 21 KO’s). Cusumano delivered a remarkable performance against Kownacki, displaying grit, stamina, and power to secure victory in eight rounds.

However, the revelation of Cusumano’s positive drug test result is likely to have consequences for this fight. The drug test was mandated by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). Despite being conducted on the same day as the fight, the adverse findings were reportedly discovered much later and were only revealed on September 5th by Matchroom, the event’s promoter.

The delayed reporting of the positive test results highlights a significant issue in the sport of boxing, as the Cusumano vs. Kownacki fight occurred more than two months before the positive findings were made public. It is also unclear which organization was responsible for testing each fighter’s sample, as VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association), commonly used for testing fighters, was apparently not involved in this instance.

Cusumano’s positive test adds to a series of fighters who have shown “adverse analytical findings” this year, including Robert Helenius and Alycia Baumgardner (15-1, 7 KO’s), who allegedly had illegal substances in their systems.

Matchroom, the promotional company, appears to be at the center of these failed tests, with most known cases this year involving fighters from their events. This may be due to Matchroom’s investment in sponsoring drug tests, resulting in a higher percentage of positive findings.

While it’s possible that other promotions could uncover more positive drug tests if they invested similarly in testing, Matchroom remains the primary promoter associated with this recent wave of PED (Performance-Enhancing Drugs) results.

Since the test result came to light, Joe Cusumano has been indefinitely suspended by the NYSAC, and his match with Kownacki is likely to be overturned and declared a no-contest.