By Ryan Maquiñana
Jessie Vargas has submitted to random drug testing administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), BoxingScene.com was informed Tuesday, per a source with knowledge of the negotiations.
Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs), the reigning WBA junior welterweight titleholder, will defend his belt against Anton Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs) on Aug. 2 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. HBO will televise the clash, which will be part of the card leading up to Brandon Rios’ 10-round welterweight battle with Diego Chaves.
Vargas turned in the requisite paperwork to promoter Top Rank last week, with the testing period to begin, effective immediately. However, while Novikov has been offered a sponsorship to cover the costs of VADA testing, he has not yet consented to it.
In 2012, Novikov captured the vacant WBC silver welterweight title, but the bout was ultimately ruled a no-contest when the Russian southpaw failed a drug test following his decision win over Karlo Tabaghua.
As has been the case with other bouts involving VADA, a fighter must produce blood and urine samples at random throughout the period leading up to the fight. Carbon isotope ratio (CIR) testing, which focuses on detecting synthetic testosterone, will be part of the process.
VADA’s services were utilized for Manny Pacquiao’s 2013 decision win over Rios, with the latter coming up positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant.
The Nevada commission will conduct its standard pre- and postfight urine tests apart from VADA’s package.
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