The first big fight of the year has already brought with it a discussion about drug tests, with Callum Smith reacting to news that Artur Beterbiev has returned an ‘atypical’ finding.
This high-level light heavyweight clash is due to take place in Montreal on Saturday night and finds Beterbiev back in the ring for the first time since he had a serious dental infection that put this one on ice since last summer.
He will be defending his IBF, WBC and WBO titles against a Brit for the third time following previous knockout wins over Callum Johnson and Anthony Yarde. Both of those men made in roads into Beterbiev before eventually being caught like every one of Beterbeiv’s apponents before them.
Ahead of the fight, Kevin Iole reports that VADA reported atypical findings in a negative test returned by the champion. Results for human growth hormone (HGH) and 5D-androstanediol, both of which occur naturally in the body, were notable. Though not a violation, such a result requires more testing which has duly been done and came back negative.
Speaking to Boxing News, Smith gave his reaction to the findings.
“It’s classed as an atypical finding, it’s not a pass, it’s not a fail. I’m not a scientist but the fight is still happening, that’s the main thing. I’m here to become world champion, I’m here to take his belts and go home.
He was then asked if the fight was ever in jeopardy.
“No, as long as it’s not a failed test and the fight still goes ahead there is no point worrying or talking about it. I’m fully focused on becoming a two-division world champion this weekend.”