WBO World middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has tested positive for the banned substance oxilofrine, it has been revealed.
Following a test by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), the 29-year-old came up positive for the stimulant, throwing his scheduled October 20th title defence against American Demetrius Andrade into turmoil.
Oxilofrine is a stimulant of the amphetamine class that was developed to treat hypotension (low blood pressure) in people who do not respond to conventional treatment. However, its use to enhance performance in sport allows the user to burn fat quicker by increasing adrenaline production, boosting endurance, focus, alertness and heart rate and increasing oxygenation of the blood.
In 2013, sprinters Tyson Gay and former world record holder Asafa Powell both tested positive for the substance and received 12 and 18 months bans from athletics respectively.
The doping violation comes at the end of a turbulent period for the unbeaten Brit, after he was hit with a £100,000 fine by the BBBoC this past Tuesday following a sickening video – in which he coerced a drug-addled woman to assault an on-walking pedestrian – was made public.
With further developments expected imminently, there has been no official indication as to whether his bout with Andrade will be cancelled. However, with oxilofrine only deemed to be ‘in-competition’ on the day of the fight in the U.K., there is a possibility for Saunders to escape punishment.