Robert Helenius, a Finnish heavyweight boxer has stated that he did not cheat against Anthony Joshua in the ring on August 12 at the 02 Arena.
A pre-fight doping test conducted before Helenius faced the British-Nigerian returned an ‘adverse analytical finding’ for a non-steroid substance, according to Matchroom Boxing.
The Finnish heavyweight was drafted in on a week’s notice following Dillian Whyte’s removal from the main event due to his own Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency failed test.
Helenius had just come off a low-level third-round knockout in his home country, and he pushed Joshua all the way to the seventh round before being knocked out clean with a right hand.
It was the former unified heavyweight champion’s first stoppage victory since late 2020.
Helenius protested his innocence and assured Joshua that he is a clean fighter in a statement released on Saturday.
I want to say something very clear in my own words right now with absolutely no exception. I did not use any performance enhancement now or ever. I have been tested my entire career.
I was just told that I tested positive for the presence of a non-steroid substance in my system and I wanted to send an immediate direct message to Anthony Joshua and boxing fans that I didn’t cheat and never would. I volunteer to work with VADA and the BBBofC to do whatever it takes to clear my name,the statement read.
The agency took the test on August 11, and the results were returned to all parties 14 days later.
Helenius had previously targeted dopers in the sport of boxing, stating that if he failed a test for a performance-enhancing drug, he would be barred from competing in his home country.