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Australian middleweight contender Sam Soliman, who outpointed former titleholder Felix Sturm in a world title elimination bout on Feb. 1 in Duesseldorf, Germany, has tested positive for a banned substance, the German Boxing Federation announced.
The 39-year-old Soliman (43-11, 17 KOs) got knocked down by Germany's Sturm (37-4-2, 16 KOs), 34, in the in the second round of the fight but went on to win a unanimous decision -- 116-111, 114-113, 114-113 -- to earn a mandatory shot at 160-pound titleholder Daniel Geale, also of Australia.
"Sam Soliman was tested positive for a performance enhancing substance after his fight with Felix Sturm. We will now await the results of the 'B' sample in order to plan our next step," Sturm Box-Promotion, Sturm's promotional company, said in a statement on Saturday. "We are strictly against doping and believe that boxing should be a clean sport."
Soliman's 'A' urine sample came positive for what Thomas Puetz, president of the German Boxing Federation, called a "designer drug that has a stimulating effect," according to the German newspaper Bild.
Soliman will have an opportunity to have his 'B' sample tested and to have a hearing. If the 'B' sample also tests positive and Soliman is found guilty of doping, he faces a fine and a suspension and the result of the fight will be changed to a no decision.
"I was harassed before the fight with several blood tests and then he cheats himself, just sad," Sturm told Bild.
In September, Sturm, who has held a piece of the middleweight title three times, lost a split decision to Geale in a unification fight in Germany and was fighting Soliman, knowing that a win would earn him a rematch.