South African boxing star Kevin Lerena has denied a charge of doping after the World Boxing Council (WBC) confirmed that he has tested positive for a banned substance under the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
The WBC announced the news on their official Twitter page: “BREAKING NEWS: Boxer Kevin Lerena tested positive in a test by @Vada_Testing done in October 18, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Clean Boxing Program protocol will now begin.”
Lerena responded with a Tweet of his own: “I’ve worked too long & too hard to throw away my career by doping. I’ll be fighting this VADA charge harder than any of my fights.
“I believe in fighting clean. I’d never put my career in jeopardy this way. I will clear my name, no matter what it takes. Thanks 4 your support.”
In a further explanation on Golden Gloves’ official website, Lerena said he was “devastated” by the news.
“If I’m guilty of anything it’s carelessness. I’ll be fighting the charge, for sure,” said the 26-year-old, who added, “I am in post-op recovery, so it would be daft to be using anabolic agents or growth hormone. Why would I be seeking an advantage now when I’m only fighting around March again?”
Lerena’s promoter Rodney Berman has called on Margaret Goodman, the president of VADA, to apologise over the incident.
“What is most perturbing, however, is the fact that without affording Mr Lerena the benefit of a prior explanation, you have insensitively and unfairly made your findings public, which can only cause damage to Mr Lerena’s good name and reputation,” Berman wrote in a letter to the organisation.
“In the circumstances a public apology would be appropriate with the same exposure and in the same media as your report was published.”