By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has obtained a letter dated April 28th from legal firm Smith Alling, who are based in Tacoma, Washington. The letter, written by attorney Michael E. McAleenan, was issued out to the involved parties of last Friday's Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones promotion at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia. Smith Alling represents the interests of the World Boxing Association [WBA].
The fighters first met last May, also in Russia, and saw Jones give Lebedev a beating before a knockout victory in the eleventh. A few weeks after the match was over, it was revealed that Jones tested positive for a banned weight cutting agent, furosemide.
RUSADA, the Russian arm of WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency], said Jones' 'A' sample tested positive for the drug. King, who had his own sample from the post-fight exam, had it tested in America and he says the sample came up negative for all banned substances, including furosemide. Because of the controversial situation, the WBA returned the world title back to Lebedev and ordered an immediate rematch with Jones. The official result of the first meeting was not reversed.
In the rematch, the doping tests were carried out by the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses (LAD). The WADA affiliated lab was designated by the WBA. The Professional Worldwide Control (PWC), managed by Dr. Alexander Kirchbichler, were responsible for collecting and transporting the samples.
About two hours before the fighters were scheduled to hit the ring for their rematch, information began to circulate that Jones once again tested positive for furosemide.
About 20 minutes before the fight, Russian promoter Andrey Ryabinsky announced that he was pulling his boxer from the match.
In a recent article on BoxingScene, Jones' promoter Don King had claimed the WBA was still willing to sanction the fight in light of Jones' positive test - because there were procedure issues with how last Wednesday's test was conducted.
According to McAleenan's letter, the WBA withdrew their sanction of the fight when learning that Jones tested positive for a banned substance and the organization agrees with Ryabinsky's decision to cancel the fight. McAleenan never mentions any issues related to the procedure of last Wednesday's test.
"In light of Jones' latest positive test for banned substances, which resulted in the WBA withdrawing its sanction of the bout, the promoter justifiably canceled the bout. The WBA would not, and could not, sanction a championship bout when it was aware of Jones' positive test as this would violate WBA rules, may cause unnecessary harm to the innocent boxer, and would otherwise compromise the nature of WBA world title bouts," McAleenan wrote in the letter.
While King claimed there was only an 'A' sample of Jones' test, McAleenan mentions a 'B' sample in his letter. Jones has a deadline of May 5th to provide a written protest to his positive result. If Jones protests, then the 'B' sample will be tested. If Jones declines to challenge the result of the 'A' sample, then the WBA will issue a resolution concerning his status.