It has been revealed that Robert Helenius failed a pre-fight Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency test prior to his bout with Anthony Joshua, with the results being received today.
The Finnish fighter was knocked out in the seventh round of his bout with Joshua at London’s O2 Arena on August 12 having been drafted in on a week’s notice.
He was required as a replacement as the initial opponent for ‘AJ’, Dillian Whyte, was also found by VADA to have returned adverse findings in a drugs test.
A statement made by Matchroom – eerily similar to the one the promotional company was forced to make for the original headliner – reads as follows:
Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) has informed Matchroom and the British Boxing Board of Control that Robert Helenius has returned an adverse analytical finding as part of a random anti-doping protocol.
Helenius was voluntarily tested on Friday, 11 August before the heavyweight fighter’s defeat by Anthony Joshua in London on Saturday, 12 August. The result was made known to Matchroom today.
Matchroom defers to the relevant regulatory authorities on next steps. We vehemently continue to support voluntary anti-doping testing. We are committed to promoting a clean and fair sport for all athletes.
We will not be making any further comment.
Since the fight, Helenius has said that he wished he had more time to train, but doesn’t regret stepping in. He took Joshua longer than many had expected, bloodying the Brit’s nose before being knocked out cold by a right hand.
More is expected to follow as boxing fans reel from this depressing and all too common news.