Anthony Joshua’s United States debut has hit a potential snag.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported on Tuesday evening that Jarrell Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) has tested positive for GW1516, which might be someone’s license plate number, but it’s also an actual banned substance. Miller was scheduled to fight Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) for the Brit’s WBO, IBF, and WBA titles in a DAZN-streamed main event on June 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The drug test was administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), not by the athletic commission, so Miller’s status is very much up in the air with just six weeks to go before fight night. If Miller is pulled from the event, he stands to lose a $6 million payday to box one of the biggest stars in the sport. This is some story considering he accused Joshua of PED use during their first press conference.
As for the substance in question, GW1516 is also known as GW501516 or Endurobol on the black market. The World Anti-Doping Agency released this statement in 2013 warning athletes about the use of this substance, which is considered dangerous and has even been linked to causing cancer.
It has come to WADA’s attention that the black market substance GW501516 is being sold to and used by some athletes.
The side effect of this chemical compound is so serious that WADA is taking the rare step of warning “cheats” to ensure that there is complete awareness of the possible health risks to athletes who succumb to the temptation of using GW501516 for performance enhancement.
GW501516 was a developmental drug that was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered in pre-clinical studies (please see page 185, abstracts 895 & 896).
Clinical approval has not, and will not be given for this substance.
However, GW501516 has been available for some months on the black market, through the Internet and elsewhere. Anti-Doping authorities have already seen its use by athletes, as there are a number of positive cases.
Well that’s not very good, is it? Endurobol is listed as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, or SARM. That puts it under the same category as ostarine, which multiple UFC fighters and boxers have failed for in recent years, including Alexander Povetkin and Tom Lawlor.
This isn’t Miller’s first drug test failure, either. He was suspended for nine months by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) after he popped for methylhexaneamine while kickboxing for GLORY in 2014. The man known as “Big Baby” has weighed as heavy as 315 lbs in recent boxing matches, and GW1516 is listed among PEDs that help burn fat and boost one’s metabolism.
In case you’re wondering, that’s now half of Ring Magazine’s current top-ten heavyweights who have failed a drug test in their careers. The other four are Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz, and Tyson Fury.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua will still fight on that date, whether it’s Miller or not.