By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has received confirmation that Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz has been suspended by the World Boxing Association - in connection to his failed drug test for a scheduled fight with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Ortiz was set to challenge Wilder on November 4th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Late last month, the World Boxing Council announced that Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC) had tested positive for two banned diuretics that can be used as masking agents for PEDs. The Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency [VADA], which performs testing for the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program,” informed the sanctioning body that Ortiz tested positive for hlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide in a urine test taken September 22.
Ortiz was eventually pulled from the Wilder fight - and later replaced by mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne, who was already scheduled to fight on the undercard.
Ortiz and his handlers have claimed that the boxer's failed test was a result of his prescribed medication for high blood pressure.
The big issue in this matter, was Ortiz's handlers failing to notify VADA that he was taking the medication in question. When Ortiz's handlers filled out the initial paperwork for VADA, they were required to list every medication that Ortiz was taking.
Ortiz's troubles don't end there.
The dangerous puncher was the WBA's mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua, who also holds the IBF, IBO world titles.
The WBA has their own out of competition anti-doping program - which is also run by VADA.
As a result of their partnership with VADA, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza informed BoxingScene that his organization is recognizing Ortiz's failed test for the Wilder fight.
Attorney Michael McAleenan of Smith Alling, on behalf of the WBA, issued a letter to Ortiz and his handlers - advised them that Ortiz was under suspension, removed from the rankings and stripped of his mandatory position. Ortiz is facing no less than a six month suspension.
Mendoza confirms that a clean B-sample is the only way Ortiz can clear himself in this predicament.
In past situations, there has rarely been a B-sample that generated a different result to the A-sample.
This is the second time that Ortiz has been in trouble with the WBA. The Cuban southpaw tested positive for Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, following a first-round knockout of Lateef Kayode in September 2014. The victory gave him the WBA's interim-title. He later stripped of the belt and suspended for several months for the failed test.