Heavyweight boxer Robert Helenius insists he is NOT a cheat – despite an ‘adverse analytical finding’ discovered two weeks after Anthony Joshua loss
Heavyweight Robert Helenius has said he would ‘never cheat’ after returning an ‘adverse analytical finding’ for his fight with Anthony Joshua.
Finnish boxer Helenius faced Joshua in London’s O2 Arena on August 12 but was knocked out by the Brit in the seventh round. Mail Sport reported last week that he failed a voluntary drug test on the eve of the fight.
Promoters Matchroom announced on Friday that Helenius returned an adverse finding the day before the fight. They said it was only made aware of the result on Friday.
Helenius said: ‘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.’
Robert Helenius insists he would never cheat after an ‘adverse analytical finding’ in a drug test
Helenius was knocked out in the seventh round by Anthony Joshua in London on August 12
The Finnish heavyweight boxer had stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Joshua’s rival Dillian Whyte (pictured), who was pulled from the show after failing a drug test of his own
Helenius had stepped in at short notice to face Joshua after the previous opponent Dillian Whyte also returned an adverse finding.
A Matchroom statement read: ‘The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) told Matchroom and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) that Robert Helenius “returned an adverse analytical finding as part of a random anti-doping protocol”.
‘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 was due to settle his long-time rivalry with Whyte before his arch-nemesis returned an adverse finding just days out from their rematch.
Helenius stepped in late to fill the void and ensure thousands of fans still got their money’s worth on the night.
The 39-year-old had an astonishing assessment on Whyte’s failed test after agreeing a deal to replace him, claiming he would be ‘lynched’ back home in Finland for a similar result.
‘Of course it’s a problem because I don’t think everybody is on the same level, some have privileges that others don’t have,’ Helenius said. ‘I think anti-doping should be the same in every country. For example, in your country when Dillian gets caught everybody just thinks “oh it’s boxing” and nobody cares.
‘In Finland, if I would be caught I would be lynched for my whole life. Two year minimum, nothing. I would never get a license again. I know [Alexander] Povetkin, [Tyson] Fury, Canelo [Alvarez]. If I would do that I would never be able to box in Finland anymore.’