Baumgardner, who holds the undisputed super-featherweight titles, tested positive for mesterolone just days before her win over Christina Linardatou. She has not fought since.
After news emerged of her failed test, the 29-year-old quickly took to social media to maintain her innocence, and the World Boxing Council (WBC) has now issued a statement on the matter.
The organisation said on Monday (15 January): “While there was sufficient evidence to support the validity of the anti-doping test that yielded the Adverse finding, the defenses Ms Baumgardner presented put into question whether the Adverse Finding resulted from an intentional act, or from non-intentional contact with Mesterolone.
“Based on the Adverse Finding in Ms Baumgardner’ A Sample, and considering all factors both sides presented, the WBC arrived at the conclusion that there was no conclusive justification to reject the accuracy of the Adverse Finding based on the evidence and arguments the Response and supplemental information presented. However, that same evidence and arguments do not conclusively support Ms Baumgardner’s intentional ingestion of Mesterolone for performance enhancement purposes.
“Accordingly, the WBC found Ms Baumgardner not guilty of intentional ingestion or consumption of a banned substance for performance enhancement purposes, and confirmed her as reigning WBC Super Featherweight World Champion.”
Baumgardner responded to the statement on social media, writing: “I would like to extend my gratitude to the WBC for conducting a fair and comprehensive investigatory process, affording me the opportunity to fully present my case, and considering my defense in its entirety.
“During this exhaustive assessment, the WBC reached a conclusion with which I agree... I am not now, nor have I ever been, guilty of intentionally ingesting or consuming any PED [performance-enhancing drug] for performance enhancement purposes.”
The WBC’s statement continued: “The WBC is ruling that: (1) the accuracy and validity of the Adverse Finding justifies placing Ms Baumgardner on probation for one (1) year from the date the sample that yielded the Adverse Finding was collected, or until July 12, 2024; (2) Ms Baumgardner shall be subjected to a series of random anti-doping tests at her own cost, which frequency shall be determined by VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association]; (3) if there is an adverse finding concerning any of Ms Baumgardner’s samples or a whereabouts failure during her probationary period and for 6-months thereafter, the WBC shall immediately and without further inquiry take immediate action against Ms Baumgardner under the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol; and (4) Ms Baumgardner and the WBC will work together to design and implement her participation in an anti-doping prevention program directed to active female boxers.”
Baumgardner added: “I welcome and will proudly submit to random testing during this probationary period, because I take immense pride in my dedication to this sport and doing things the right way. I am honored to represent all female athletes, the WBC, and all the sanctioning bodies as the undisputed super featherweight world champion, and I look forward to my next title defense.
“To everyone else... As I said before, the queen is coming!”
Click here to subscribe to The Independent’s Sport YouTube channel for all the latest sports videos.