Beterbiev's 'atypical' test results for 'raised levels of HGH and testosterone' are 'a concern,' Smith promoter Hearn says

Artur Beterbiev defends his IBF, WBC, and WBO light heavyweight titles against England’s Callum Smith on Saturday in Quebec City, Canada. 

However, news surfaced Wednesday from reporter Kevin Iole that "Beterbiev had received atypical findings for human growth hormone (HGH) and 5D-androstanediol."

The Russian world champion did pass further tests in response to the "atypical" test result.

"There was an atypical finding in Artur Beterbiev’s VADA test in December,” Smith’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said in response to the news. “Raised levels of HGH and testosterone, not an adverse finding, but an atypical finding, which is still raised levels. 

"As a promoter of the fighter in the other corner, it is a concern. So we are working with VADA to try and understand and know the reasons why.

"It is all out there to do your research and I know they will want us to be careful of what we say," said Hearn. "There has been additional testing, but around those results.

"In this one test there was a spike in these substances and then the tests the week after, there wasn’t. What we want to know is, we are not scientists, we wanna know why those levels were raised.

"The questions that we have VADA, we will continue to ask. Again, it is important to acknowledge that contractually we can’t do anything about it, because it was not an adverse finding, it was an atypical result on blood and urine."

ProBox TV asked Hearn the gulf in difference between atypical and adverse test results. 

"That is what I don’t like about it," Hearn said. "For me, it should be one to the other. It is either a test that is absolutely fine or it is a positive test.

"To alert us with that information, we have to then look into that for the safety of our fighter. If you go to it has all the results from all the tests, you can do your own research.

"We are not scientists, but when you read it you go, ‘what the fuck.’ I was just pleased yesterday that information came out, we’ve known this information since the middle of December, but it hadn’t been released."

Hearn continued: "It is difficult to release the information because what they will feel is that people will accuse Artur. Again, it is not an adverse finding, but when there are raised levels of those substances we cannot help but investigate it further, we would be doing our job.

"Callum’s lawyer has been doing that with VADA. Again, we would like a little bit more information, but it is not going to effect the fight anyway, the fight would only be cancelled if there was an adverse test.

"We wanted this information to come out, because we wanted an open forum to discuss and it got to a point yesterday that the information was going to come, and there was a decision made that it came out first.

"I would have preferred the information came out earlier so we could have the chance to look further into it. This is not an accusation towards Artur Beterbiev, this should be an open forum for all to understand why."

This is not the first time information regarding drug tests drops once again on fight week.

"For the naked eye, it doesn’t read that well," Hearn said.

"I want VADA to give us complete clarity that one million percent that there is no evidence that this substance has been produced to improve his physical performance in this fight, that’s all.

"We [Matchroom] do more testing than anybody in the sport. We have had a number of positive tests come up, when it is our show for our fighter we get a million questions, ‘why this, why that, you! Why, why, why.’ I see none of that [here].

"So I’m asking the questions. This is to understand more about testing, more about why there is an atypical finding. There has been a lot of communication with VADA but under their rules there should be additional testing that should ensue after, the additional testing they are talking about is just the testing of more tests that he passed with no atypical results."

The Beterbiev vs. Smith bout airs on ESPN+ in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.