On Friday, Matchroom Boxing posted a tweet onto Twitter informing that Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius (32-5, 21 KOs) has returned an adverse analytical finding as part of a random anti-doping protocol. Here is the statement in full:
Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) has informed Matchroom and the British Boxing Board of Control [BBBofC] that Robert Helenius has returned an adverse analytical finding as part of a random anti-doping protocol.
Helenius was voluntarily tested on Friday, August 11 before the heavyweight fighter’s defeat by Anthony Joshua in London on Saturday, 12 August. The result was made known to Matchroom today.
Matchroom defers to the relevant regulatory authorities on next steps. We vehemently continue to support voluntary anti-doping testing. We are committed to promoting a clean and fair sport for all athletes.
We will not be making any further comment.
Joshua vs. Helenius
On August 12, Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) defeated Helenius via seventh round stoppage. Originally, Joshua was to face Dillian Whyte in a main event. The bout would have been their second meeting in the professional ranks. However, Whyte tested positive for a banned substance in the days leading up to the clash. As a result, Helenius stepped in despite fighting only a week prior to the scheduled fight with Joshua.
The VADA result marks yet another positive drug test for a fighter in recent months. Not long ago, Alycia Baumgardner also tested positive for banned substances, something made known following her bout against Christina Linardatou. Alberto Puello also tested positive for a banned substance in April ahead of scheduled May 13 title defense. Hanna Gabriels, originally set to face Claressa Shields for the undisputed middleweight championship, also had a positive test just weeks prior to the bout.
Helenius has previously not tested positive for banned substances before. He has yet to deliver a statement on the VADA result. Neither him nor anyone affiliated with Helenius have delivered comments of any kind on the matter at the time of writing. At the moment, there is no information regarding what the adverse analytical finding could be. As Matchroom Boxing have indicated, they will also not be making any further comments on the situation. More information should come to light in the coming days. For now, fight fans can expect a suspension for Helenius for a period of time.