The WBO has issued a notice letter to current undisputed super-featherweight world champion Alycia Baumgardner to show cause regarding her recent anti-doping failure following her contest in July against Christina Linardatou.
Baumgardner tested positive for the substances Mesterolone and Primobolan, of which Mesterlone is a steroid. The sample in question was collected on July 12th, three days prior to her contest with Linardatou with the testing collection and analysis conducted by Drug-Free Sport.
Reports, which originated from Boxingscene.com, confirmed that the WBO has finally taken action to resolve the issue regarding Baumgardner’s status as their respective champion and is seeking clarity regarding her anti-doping matters.
Three months have passed since the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission [MUCC] began their investigation into Baumgardner’s failed anti-doping test, of which her contest with Linardatou took place in the state of Michigan in Detroit.
The MUCC have forced the other governing bodies to follow their lead, preventing the WBA, WBC, IBF and the IBO from conducting their own investigations or implementing sanctions on Baumgardner. The delay in any progress from the MUCC has forced the hand of the WBO to take the lead in speeding up investigative proceedings.
The notice issued by the WBO addressed to Baumgardener included all of the appropriate parties involved. Baumgardner’s promoter, Matchroom and advisor Keith Connolly. Di Bella Entertainment [DBE] and Alex Dombroff, DBE’s head of legal, handling the interests of Christina Linardatou, which promotes Linardatou. Benjamin Parker, the licensing director for the Michigan Commission, was also included in the notice issued by the WBO.
“Ms. Baumgardner is hereby ordered to “Show Cause” within 30 days upon issuance of this notice as to why the WBO World Championship Committee shall not recommend… to declare the WBO Female Jr. Lightweight Championship “Vacant” and/or take any other action take any action [deemed] proper,” WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista-Salas stated to Baumgardner and her team in a ruling obtained originally by Boxing Scene. “Failure to comply with this order will result in this Committee proceeding accordingly and having Ms. Baumgardner waive all rights hereunder without any further hearing and/or citation.”
If Baumgardner fails to comply with the notice issued by the WBO, the current undisputed super-featherweight champion will be stripped of her WBO title and faces a a two-year ban from featuring in any WBO-sanctioned bout.
The matter of urging the WBO to take action was first brought up to the WBO during their annual convention on October 12th by Domboff of DBE. Domboff citied the issues and concerns which he and DBE had regarding the investigation being conducted by the MUCC.
Baumgardner also currently finds herself suspended by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) while the MUCC allegedly conducted its investigation. However, comments or updates have yet to be given by the MUCC since September 1st. The date of September coincides with Linda Douglas resigning from her position as the commission’s Athletic Coordinator. Mrs Douglas was the MUCC’s longtime point of contact between the commission and promoters, managers and fighters.
Dombroff of DBE has officially appealed with the ABC also, in the hope of speeding up proceedings as well as highlighting the MUCC’s lack of communication and mismanagement of the affair with Baumgardner.
“DBE literally has no contact within the MUCC with any authority and no resource for information beyond a blind hope that a FOIA request will return eventually relevant information,” noted Dombroff to the ABC in an official appeal originally obtained by Boxing Scene. “This is no way for any commission to operate on any level, but particularly when dealing with an incident with the severity of a positive anti-doping test.
“DBE is left to only conclude that the MUCC is doing nothing to confront or adjudicate Baumgardner’s positive test, considering the time passed since the bout and the lack of any substantive action taken thus far by the MUCC. This would be unacceptable for any commission globally, but particularly a state commission member of the ABC.”
Dombroff has continued to plead with the WBO to take action to remove Baumgardner as WBO champion, however, this request was denied by the WBO, citing that it cannot do so without due process and therefore being forced to take the lead of the MUCC. The issue of the show cause notice is the first step towards the action of Baumgardner’s removal as the WBO world champion while giving due process within the WBO system.
The WBO was prepared to rule on the matter during the convention before a member of Baumgardner’s team argued that she reserved the right to review such matters before any action was taken by the WBO or any other governing body, strengthening and rallying behind the position of the MUCC in regards to the process currently undertaken.
However, enough time has since passed to where the WBO felt it was time to advance the situation.
“According to the foregoing report, a urine sample collected on July 12th, 2023, by the referenced testing entity showed an adverse analytical finding of banned substances,” noted the ruling, citing Section 19 (‘Failure To Comply as Champion’) and 28 (‘Drug Testing’) of the WBO Regulations. “The substances in question were Mesterolone Metabolite and 3a-hydroxy-1a-mathyl-5a-androstan-17-one detected. The latter substances were confirmed as per the test report obtained by the WBO. Consequently, our intervention is warranted.”