Robert Helenius has professed his innocence shortly after landing in the sport’s latest drug testing scandal.
The 39-year-old heavyweight was dealt a double hit from his short notice clash versus Anthony Joshua. Their August 12 clash in London saw Helenius suffer a seventh-round knockout to the former two-time unified heavyweight titlists. Less than two weeks later, event promoter Matchroom Boxing confirmed that a random drug testing sample produced by Robert Helenius as contracted through VADA revealed adverse analytical findings of a banned substance.
Ironically, Finland’s Helenius (32-5, 21KOs) was brought in as a late replacement for another heavyweight who was caught through VADA testing. Former title challenger Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19KOs) was pulled from the show one week out after it was learned that he tested positive for Molidustat.
An investigation is ongoing regarding both boxers, which limits what any of the involved parties can say regarding the testing specifics. However, Helenius’ first words in the aftermath were to profess his innocence.
“I want to say something very clear in my own words right now with absolutely no exception,” Helenius stated in a message posted to his personal Instagram account on Saturday. “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.”
BoxingScene.com has learned the substance in question was Clomiphene, though the exact amount detected in his system remains unknown as this goes to publication. None of the involved parties were in a position to confirm nor deny.
Helenius (32-5, 21KOs) accepted the fight versus Joshua (26-3, 23KOs) almost immediately after a third-round knockout win over unbeaten Mika Mielonen on August 5 from the Operastage at Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna, Finland. He and his team headed to England shortly thereafter for his high-profile heavyweight clash at The O2 in London, but ultimately suffered his second knockout loss within his last three fights spanning just ten months.
The drug testing fallout, however, is far worse than any ring ledger as far as the veteran heavyweight contender is concerned. The development marked the first time in his 15-year-career that he tested positive for any substance.
“I volunteer to work with VADA and the BBBofC to do whatever it takes to clear my name,” vowed Helenius.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox