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I didn’t cheat against Joshua, says Helenius

 

Finnish heavyweight boxer Robert Helenius has said that he did not cheat against Anthony Joshua when the two faced in the ring at the 02 Arena on August 12.


Matchroom Boxing reported that a pre-fight doping test conducted before Helenius faced the British-Nigerian returned an ‘adverse analytical finding’ for a non-steroid substance.


The Finnish heavyweight was drafted in on a week’s notice following Dillian Whyte’s removal from the main event due to his own Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency failed test.


Helenius had just come off a low-level third round knockout in his home country, and took Joshua into the seventh round before being knocked out clean with a right hand.


It was the former two-time unified heavyweight champion’s first stoppage win since late 2020.


In a statement released on Saturday, Helenius protested his innocence and assured Joshua that he is a clean fighter.


“I want to say something very clear in my own words right now with absolutely no exception. I did not use any performance enhancement now or ever. I have been tested my entire career.


“I was just told that I tested positive for the presence of a non-steroid substance in my system and I wanted to send an immediate direct message to Anthony Joshua and boxing fans that I didn’t cheat and never would. I volunteer to work with VADA and the BBBofC to do whatever it takes to clear my name,” the statement read.


The test was taken by the agency on August 11, with the results being returned to all parties 14 days later.


Helenius had previously taken aim at those who dope in the sport of boxing, saying that he would be banned from competing in his country should he fail a test for a performance enhancing drug.


The news and a statement of innocence is the third of its kind in August. Whyte’s VADA test being the first, and undisputed super featherweight champion, Alycia Baumgardner, failing a Drug Free Sport test the second.

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