Alycia Baumgardner is prepared to go the distance to clear her name.
The undisputed junior lightweight queen has professed her innocence in the wake of a recent drug testing scandal. As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Baumgardner tested positive for two banned substances a sample collected July 12—three days ahead of her win over Christina Linardatou in her Detroit hometown.
For reasons that can only be explained by overseeing testing agency Drug Free Sport, the sample was not confirmed as received by the lab until July 21 nor were the results confirmed until August 10 according to the testing paperwork.
Matchroom Boxing—who promoted the event and Baumgardner’s last five fights—claimed to have not been made aware until August 12, at which time she was contacted regarding the development.
“On August 12, 2023, I was informed that an "A” Sample I provided on July 12, 2023 resulted in an "Adverse Analytical Finding" of Mesterolone and methenolone acetate metabolites, two substances I've never heard of or used in any way,” Baumgardner said in a public issued statement on Wednesday. “The sample provided immediately after my fight on July 15, 2023 tested clean and negative for all banned substances, as did my sample on June 16, 2023, which makes the July 12th result essentially impossible.
“To be abundantly clear, I know that I never have, never would, and never will take this or any other drug. Not only would doing so be unethical, but it would also be completely contrary to how I've trained my entire career.”
Baumgardner (15-1, 7KOs) reserves the right to have her “B” sample tested or even challenge the results itself whether through chain of custody concerns or any other proof of contamination.
Whispers of the development first began Tuesday evening, one full month to the day of Baumgardner’s revenge-fueled win over Linardatou (14-3, 6KOs) to defend her fully unified 130-pound championship. The DAZN-aired main event took place five years almost to the day of their July 2018 non-title fight won by Linardatou via split decision.
Nine straight wins have followed for Baumgardner, three of which have seen her collect all of the division’s major titles.
She scored a one-punch, fourth-round knockout of then-unbeaten WBC titlist Terri Harper in November 2021. Two fights later, Baumgardner edged undefeated Mikaela Mayer via split decision to add the lineal, IBF and WBO titles in London. She then outpointed France’s Elhem Mekhaled over ten rounds to claim the WBA as the final chip to undisputed championship status this past February 4 in New York City.
As is the culture with drug testing in boxing, her past has now been called into question.
Regarding present-day, the WBC is the only sanctioning body of the four to make a statement despite the WBA, IBF and WBO all having been made aware of the matter both verbally and in writing.
“The WBC has received a notification of an adverse finding resulting from an anti-doping test conducted in a sample collected from WBC and undisputed Super Featherweight World Champion Alycia Baumgardner,” the sanctioning body noted in a general statement. “The sample collection that resulted in the adverse finding took place in relation with the July 15, 2023 bout between Champion Baumgardner and challenger Christina Linardatou.
“The adverse finding in questions arose from a sample collection and anti-doping test administered by Drug Free Sport, and not as part of the WBC Clean Boxing Program. Accordingly, the WBC will initiate a notification, investigation, and results management procedures for WBC World Championship bouts consistent with the WBC Rules & Regulations.”
More so than the retroactive accusations, the defending champ Is more concerned about preserving the pristine image she holds outside the ring.
“As a professional athlete, I and I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and my body is a temple,” insisted Baumgardner, who has never previously tested positive for any substance. “I am also a proud role model for any young woman or girl who seeks to follow in my footsteps. I take those responsibilities very seriously -which is why I know that I did not and would never put these substances in my body.
“I have a lot more to say about my journey and why the very idea of me taking an illegal, banned, or even dangerous substance would never make sense. So I have no intention of sitting back in silence and letting this "play out." I plan to keep you all updated every step of the way as I work to ensure my reputation as a clean athlete remains fully intact.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox