Like every boxer in the world today, Franchón Crews-Dezurn isn’t quite sure when she will be able to return the ring.
When she does, there will be at least one major title back around her waist.
The World Boxing Organization has formally stripped Alejandra Jimenez of her super middleweight title after failing to comply with a Show Cause order after testing positive for a banned substance. The ruling, which was handed down on Tuesday, results in the belt making its way back to Crews-Dezurn and their January 10 bout officially treated as a No-Decision.
“Ms. Jimenez failed to comply with this Committee’s orders as per the “Show Cause” notices,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee stated in an official letter issued to both boxers, and of which BoxingScene.com has obtained a copy. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, Ms. Jimenez filed two email communications with no reliable, credible, or relevant supporting evidence in her defense, rather unfounded averments and allegations unsupported in the record.”
Mexico’s Jimenez (13-0-1, 9KOs) claimed a 10-round split decision win over Crews-Dezurn in their title fight this past January, which aired live on DAZN from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The win netted Jimenez both the WBO and World Boxing Council (WBC) 168-pound titles, making her a two-division titlist after having previously held a heavyweight title.
The glory was short-lived, as a test sample taken and collected by officials contracted by Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) on January 10—on the eve of the title fight—came back positive for the banned substance Stanazol. The news made the rounds on January 24, nearly two full weeks after the fight.
The development resulted in a 90-day suspension issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), along with the WBC suspending her title reign and the WBO officially putting her on the clock.
As is the case in all drug testing cases, the offending party has the right to either have their “B” sample tested or go straight to a hearing. The latter affords the offending party a platform to provide evidence suggesting contamination or ingestion of said substance through unintentional means.
In this case, Jimenez opted to have her “B” sample tested, choosing the latter of three offered dates—February 5, 12 or 19. Jimenez chose the latter of the three as a matter of convenience to her schedule, as she wanted to be present at the time of the sample being opened.
Her decision conflicted with a Show Cause order issued by the WBO which called for Jimenez to provide proof either of contamination or of ingestion through unintentional means, the latter which still doesn’t necessarily clear an athlete. Jimenez failed to do so despite two separate requests from the WBO, nor did her “B” sample differentiate from the original test result.
Crews-Dezurn—a longtime advocate for stringent drug testing—produced clean samples for every test she was required to take.
Having exhausted all options, the WBO decided the time had come for an official ruling, which in the end defaulted matters back to the way they were prior to fight night.
“Having this Committee examined and reviews the applicable rules and regulations, having granted all parties substantial due process, having confirmed with the Texas Licensing and Regulation Department, administrative regulatory body with jurisdiction over the official bout result and imposed suspension, and having considered petitioner’s request, this Committee rules as follows,” noted Salas. “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the WBO World Championship Committee according to the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests as follows:
“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby strips Ms. Alejandra Jimenez of her WBO Female Super Middleweight Championship Title and it reinstates WBO Female Participant Ms. Franchon Crews-Dezurn as the official WBO Female Super Middleweight Champion.”
Jimenez is afforded one last ditch effort, as she will have fourteen (14) days from the time of Tuesday’s ruling to file an appeal in writing. As far as the other side is concerned, the rendered decision is the right call and final answer.
“Justice has been served,” said Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy told BoxingScene.com upon learning of the ruling. “This is the correct decision to make on behalf of the WBO to reinstate Franchon Crews-Dezurn as its super middleweight champion. It is always great to see justice in action, especially in this sport.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox