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Artur Beterbiev returned an 'atypical finding' in a drugs test last month, but his world title fight with Britain's Callum Smith WILL go ahead this weekend… as the unbeaten Russian-Canadian insists he's a 'clean athlete'

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Artur Beterbiev returned an ‘atypical finding’ in a VADA drugs test in December, but his long-awaited light heavyweight clash with Callum Smith is set to go ahead after further tests came back negative for performance enhancing drugs.  

Beterbiev and Smith are due to meet on Saturday in Quebec in the postponed fight, which was rescheduled after the Russian-Canadian was convinced to delay an August bout after undergoing jaw surgery

But tensions around the fight have been ramped up by the revelation that a recent drugs test undertaken on December 6 by Beterbiev contained raised levels of HGH and testosterone metabolite 5D-androstanediol. 

As reported by Kevin Iole, both substances occur naturally in the body, and upon undergoing more testing, Beterbiev returned negative results in two sets of blood and urine tests. 

As Beterbiev’s test was atypical rather than ‘adverse’, the fight will go ahead as scheduled, but the unified light heavyweight champion was keen to stress that he remains a ‘clean athlete’ as news of his result broke. 

Artur Beterbiev was found to have returned atypical findings in a December 6 drugs test

Artur Beterbiev was found to have returned atypical findings in a December 6 drugs test

The Russian-Canadian is due to fight Callum Smith on Saturday and the fight is set to go ahead

The Russian-Canadian is due to fight Callum Smith on Saturday and the fight is set to go ahead

In a fierce statement, the 38-year-old warned his opponent that attempts to muddy the waters with commentary on the results would not be taken lightly. 

‘It has come to my attention that Callum Smith intends to disseminate misleading information about my VADA testing for this fight,’ Beterbiev said. ‘Let me be clear now – I am a clean athlete. 

‘I have never tested positive for a banned substance throughout my career. Any attempt to imply otherwise, through innuendo or suggestion is slanderous and libellous. This conduct is beyond acceptable trash talk. 

‘Callum is already searching for excuses, looking for a way out. See you Saturday.’

Discussing the result, Smith had been vague, saying that his opponent had neither ‘passed nor failed’ with the atypical finding. 

‘It’s not a passed test, it’s not a failed test,’ Smith told Boxing News. ‘The fight’s still happening, that’s the main thing. I’m not a scientist, I’m a fighter. 

‘I’m here to beat him, take his belts, and go back home.’

Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn also seemed flummoxed by the findings on Thursday evening but stressed that ‘contractually’ nothing could be done about the result. 

Eddie Hearn called for greater transparency as he said he was looking to find out 'why' atypical findings had been seen in the test

Eddie Hearn called for greater transparency as he said he was looking to find out ‘why’ atypical findings had been seen in the test

‘Not an adverse finding, an atypical finding, but still raised levels which as a promoter of a fighter in the other corner is a concern,’ Hearn told Fight Hub TV. ‘So we’ve been working with VADA to try to understand the reasons why. 

‘It’s all out there for you to do you research and they’ll want us to be careful of what we say.

‘What we want to know is — we’re not scientists — we just want to know why was those levels raised and the questions we’ve asked VADA we will continue to ask,’ Hearn continued.

‘Contractually we can’t do anything about it because it was not an adverse finding but it was an atypical result of blood and urine of raised levels of HGH and testosterone.’

However, VADA founder and president Dr Margaret Goodman was keen to clear up speculation of wrongdoing in her pronouncement of atypical findings as relatively routine in repeat drugs testing. 

‘Atypical findings are fairly common in PED (performance enhancing drug) testing and do not constitute an adverse test result,’ Goodman told Boxing News

‘They can result from various causes. Atypical findings generally warrant the collection of further samples. But no negative inference should be drawn from an atypical finding in and of itself.’

The 38-year-old has a fearsome knockout record that he is looking to extend against Smith

The 38-year-old has a fearsome knockout record that he is looking to extend against Smith

Victory in Quebec could set up a banner light heavyweight clash against Dmitry Bivol

Victory in Quebec could set up a banner light heavyweight clash against Dmitry Bivol

Beterbiev prepares to meet his opponent with a ferocious 19-0 KO record, the only current world champion to hold the honour. 

Victory against Smith could set up a meeting with another fighter from Hearn’s stable, Dmitry Bivol, with Hearn confirming to reporters on Thursday evening that a fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO light-heavyweight world titles could take place in Saudi Arabia following successful at the Centre Videotron. 

But Hearn has been talking up his talent’s abilities ahead of the clash, claiming on Thursday that Smith is set to knock Beterbiev ‘spark out’

‘Like a face down knockout,’ Hearn added. ‘He’s going to be up against the ropes and Beterbiev is going to come in like he does, he’s going to screw up his feet, and Callum’s going to do what he does best, which is catch-counter with the left hook. One punch knockout.’