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Boxing | South Africa

Francois Botha and Sonny Bill Williams © Gallo Images

Doubts over Botha's 'drug test'

Doubts have emerged about allegations that Francois Botha failed a drug test done before his fight against Sonny Bill Williams in Brisbane last Friday.

A committee member of the Australian Boxing Federation, has been quoted as saying “it would be bizarre if Botha was tested”.

John Hogg was quoted in a report on the Perth Now website as saying tests for performance-enhancing substances were not compulsory in Queensland where the fight took place.

Hogg said he sent Botha for a medical where he was tested for hepatitis and aids.

Beeld, a Johannesburg newspaper, reported on Monday that South Africa’s Hall of Fame referee Stan Christodoulou would be part of an investigation into the fight. However, no details of a probe have been announced by the WBA or the Australian Boxing Federation.

Earlier Australian newspapers reported that the South African had tested positive for a banned stimulant before his heavyweight fight against Williams, the New Zealand champion.

The former WBF heavyweight champion allegedly tested positive for phentermine, according to reports in The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspapers reported that the banned substance was found in a urine sample taken on Tuesday last week.

The test allegedly also found traces of benzodiazepine, a valium-like product, in Botha's system. Results would be sent to the Panama headquarters of the WBA, which sanctioned Friday's controversial bout in Brisbane.

Botha was stripped of his IBF title in April 1996 after failing a test for illegal substances.

The Sydney Morning Herald also carried a report of Botha's positive test and said he may face a two-year-ban from boxing.

The 44-year-old Botha lost on points over ten rounds to Williams, an international rugby player who represented New Zealand when the All Blacks won the World Cup in 2011.

The fight was scheduled for twelve rounds but cut to ten, leading to a sensational end. Williams was leading on points but was on the verge of being knocked out during the last seconds of the tenth round.

Botha had fought Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis during a 20-year-professional career.

In December 1995 he outpointed Axel Schulz over 12 rounds to win the IBF heavyweight belt. But in April 1996 a district court in New Jersey stripped him of the belt.

Additional reporting: supersport.com


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