Catherine Phiri, a champion boxer from Zambia, has been banned from the sport for two years due to her positive doping test.
After losing the WBC bantamweight title at home in February to Kudakwashe Chiwandire of Zimbabwe, the former champion tested positive for the diuretic furosemide. Due to her admission of guilt, Phiri’s two-year suspension has been backdated to May 2022
Phiri issued an apology to “all boxing fans and the nation at large” for the “bad publicity” that came with the suspension. “In my boxing career, I have never taken any performance-enhancing drug. I have been subjected to numerous drug tests during a professional career spanning over 10 years” she said.
A consensus was reached by the Zambian boxing board and the National Olympic Committee that furosemide “is not a performance-enhancing drug,” supporting Phiri’s conclusion.
Despite its beneficial effects of helping to reduce extra fluid in the body, the World Anti-Doping Agency has prohibited the medication.
Phiri claimed in her statement that she had used a medicine to assist her drop weight quickly during her training for her world title bout without realising that the drug was on the banned list. “I did this without the knowledge of my coach and manager. I deeply regret my actions,” Phiri explained in her statement.
Chiwandire’s victory against Phiri in February’s bout allowed her to become the WBC Interim Female Super Bantamweight title, and some fans remarked that Phiri looked thinner in that fight. After having her sample forwarded to South Africa for testing, WBC bantamweight champion Phiri admitted guilt on May 10.
Phiri entered the ring for the first time in 2011 and has since gone on to win 16 of her 21 fights, including 10 through knockout. Of her five losses, all have been decided by the judges.
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