By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez came up positive for cocaine in connection to a random drug test administered by VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association] on August 27th.
The random test was given to Benavidez as part of his enrollment in the World Boxing Council's Clean Boxing Program.
At the moment, Benavidez has not signed a contract to fight in the coming months - which means his punishment will be limited to an undetermined fine from the WBC.
Sources have advised BoxingScene that Benavidez came up clean in all of his past tests - which indicates that his recent failure is likely an isolated incident.
Benavidez is still scheduled to fight again before the year is over.
Attempts to reach Benavidez's promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, were unsuccessful.
Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) is bound to make a mandatory defense against top contender Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs).
On May 21, the World Boxing Council had ordered them to fight, and a purse bid, scheduled for June, was canceled after both sides reached a deal.
Their fight was initially targeted for this month.
Last year, Benavidez and Dirrell were scheduled to fight each other for the vacant WBC title - but Dirrell withdrew with an injury, and he was later replaced by Ronald Gavril.
Dirrell holds the number 2 ranking under the WBC. Callum Smith, who is part of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, is ranked at 1.
Dirrell previously held the WBC title and lost the belt by way of a close twelve round majority decision to Badou Jack in April of 2015.
Since that loss, he's won five fights in a row - with a dominating decision earlier this year over Abraham Han.
Benavidez had previously reached a deal to defend his title against former Olympian Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) of Russia on July 28.
But that contest was canceled when Benavidez became involved in a minor promotional dispute. He attempted to break away from Sampson Boxing and signed a promotional deal with Top Rank. However, he quickly had a change of heart and returned to Sampson Boxing in less than two weeks time - after Lewkowicz filed a legal suit.
Benavidez retained his world title back in February, when he won a dominant twelve round decision in his rematch with Ronald Gavril.