Shannon Briggs’s upcoming world heavyweight title match against Fres Oquendo has been called off due to Briggs failing a drug test.
Briggs tested positive for atypical levels of testosterone, forcing the June 3 bout for the vacant WBA “regular” heavyweight title (Anthony Joshua is the WBA’s “super” champion after beating Wladimir Klitschko). Dr. Margaret Goodman, who is the president of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which was overseeing drug testing for the bout as part of the WBA's Fair Boxing Program, sent a letter to both camps about the positive test. Briggs' urine sample was collected on May 14 and analyzed on May 16.
According to the letter, which was obtained by ESPN, Briggs' A sample was "analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, metabolic modulators, GHRP, hormones and related substances.” The positive test also showed that there was an "atypical" finding: his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was 7.89 to 1, which is significantly higher than the allowable threshold of 4 to 1 under World Anti-Doping Agency standards.
Briggs had not lost a fight since losing to Vitali Klitschko in 2010, a streak that is nine fights long. Oquendo, on the other hand, has not fought in nearly three years, losing to Ruslan Chagaev via majority decision. Both Briggs and Oquendo were in the top 4 of the WBA’s heavyweight rankings. Luis Ortiz and Alexander Ustinov, both ranked #1 and #2 respectively, do not have any scheduled bouts coming up.
The vacant WBA title has been vacant since July and this is just the latest fight for the title that was canceled. Lucas Browne originally won the title back in March 2016, but Browne failed a drug test for clenbuterol after the fight. Browne then failed another test late last year after he was supposed to fight Briggs for the vacant belt.
No decision on the vacant belt’s future is yet to be determined.