Alycia Baumgardner, the undisputed super featherweight champion of women’s boxing, had a sample test positive for two banned substances, she confirmed Wednesday.
The two substances, mesterolone and methenolone acetate metabolites, are steroids and were reportedly found in the “A sample” Baumgardner provided July 12, three days before she defended her belts against challenger Christina Linardatou by unanimous decision on July 15.
Baumgardner, however, contends that such a finding is “essentially impossible,” given that samples she provided on both the day of the fight and the day after the fight came back clean. She claimed she had never heard of the two substances.
From Baumgardner’s statement:
“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.
“As a professional athlete, I and I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and my body is a temple. 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.”
Baumgardner’s promoter, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, also released a statement confirming the positive test and disclosing that they were informed Saturday. They promised to assist Baumgardner while committing to “promoting a clean and fair sport for all athletes.”
The positive test throws Baumgardner’s future into a state of limbo as the testing authorities further investigate her case. She was ordered by the WBA to face previous title-holder Hyun My Choi, who vacated the belt due to injury earlier this month.
Baumgardner holds a 15-1 career record. She won her first major super featherweight belts on Nov. 13, 2021, by TKOing Terri Harper for the WBC and IBO titles, then became undisputed three fights later with a unanimous decision win over Elhem Mekhaled for the vacated WBA belt.