WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has failed a drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), putting an upcoming title defense in jeopardy.
According to a report from ESPN, Saunders tested positive for the banned substance oxilofrine, which is a stimulant that mainly helps with increasing adrenaline production and oxygenation of the blood.
This puts his October 20 title defense against former world champion Demetrius Andrade at the TD Garden in Boston in jeopardy. That fight was going to be the main event of a Matchroom Boxing USA card streamed exclusively in the United States and Canada on the DAZN platform.
With the positive drug test, Saunders could potentially be stripped of the title he won back in 2015. Saunders won the belt with a victory over Andy Lee and most recently defended the title with a wide unanimous decision victory over David Lemieux last December.
The failed drug test also comes days after Saunders was fined £100,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for posting a disturbing video on social media that involved Saunders claiming that he would give a woman drugs in exchange for sexual favors to a friend of Saunders.
Saunders is not the first athlete to test positive for the banned substance. Sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell tested positive in 2013 and pro baseball pitcher Michael Kopech have also tested positive for the banned substance in 2015. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also lists oxilofrine on its extensive list of banned substances.