The IBO has ruled that Kevin Lerena will not be stripped of his cruiserweight title. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Kevin Lerena, who is scheduled to defend his IBO (International Boxing Organisation) cruiserweight belt against the unbeaten Artur Mann of Kazakhstan on March 16 at Emperors Palace, has been cleared of any misuse of a prohibited substance.

The IBO Championships Committee declared that after further testimony by Lerena which showed that he had co-operated with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) by advising them that he had returned from holiday.

He made himself available at any time for testing, and all the evidence was provided to the IBO medical adviser for his review and opinion.

Based on the evidence, the IBO Championships Committee concluded that the ingestion of the prohibited substance was clearly accidental, and nothing more than a mistake of taking of a tablet prescribed for his wife.

The Committee concluded that it was not likely that Lerena had colluded with his wife to be treated by her physician, and somehow have the physician prescribe a medication intended for use by Lerena instead of his wife.

The Committee also noted that the ingestion of this medication would have been clearly counter-productive to the instructions by his doctor for his rehabilitation and recovery process after injuring his arm.

Based upon a thorough examination of the substantial exculpatory evidence, it was concluded that his ingestion of this prohibited substance was clearly accidental, and therefore he shall not be stripped of his IBO cruiserweight title.

Mann, Lerena’s next opponent, fights out of Hannover, Germany, and hails from the Team Sauerland stable.

African News Agency (ANA)