Jean Pascal has tested positive for three banned substances in Voluntary Anti-Doping Association-administered drug tests and is out of his upcoming light heavyweight title defense against Badou Jack.
Pascal was scheduled to defend his secondary 175-pound belt in a rematch against former two-division world titlist Badou Jack in the co-feature of the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul exhibition bout that will top a Showtime PPV card on June 6 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Pascal was randomly tested by VADA on May 14 and May 17, a source with knowledge of the testing schedule told Fright Freaks Unite on Friday night. The results of those tests were returned on Friday. VADA then informed both camps of the positive results.
“My fight with Jean Pascal is OFF as he tested positive for 3 different steroids,” Jack wrote on Twitter on Friday night, shortly after the test results were returned. “We suspected he was dirty the first time around and VADA confirmed it this time. I’m still fighting on June 6th and my team is looking for a replacement opponent.”
Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs), 38, of Montreal, and Jack (23-3-3, 13 KOs), 37, of Las Vegas, who are longtime friends, fought in December 2019 in Atlanta and Pascal won an action-packed split decision to retain his secondary light heavyweight title in a fight in which they were both knocked down.
A planned rematch was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pascal hasn’t fought since the 2019 fight. Jack returned to win a shutout eight-round decision against Blake McKernan on Nov. 28 on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Now the Pascal-Jack rematch is off with the revelation that Pascal, who likely will be stripped of his WBA secondary belt, tested positive for three banned substances. The three substances are Drostanolone, Drostanolone metabolite and Epitrenbolone, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, Jack’s promoter, told Fight Freaks Unite.
Pascal has the right, at his own expense, to have his B samples tested, but if they came back with a different result than the positive A samples it would be an extremely rare turn of events.
“It’s very, very unfortunate. I know Badou has worked so hard and he was so excited about getting redemption in this fight and very confident that he was going to destroy Pascal in this fight,” Ellerbe said. “This is just very unfortunate. Thank God for VADA testing. Badou had some concerns and he brought them to me and Floyd after the last fight and we ensured that VADA testing was in place. That’s what we do at Mayweather Promotions. We insist on testing and we pay for it. We always want a level playing field.
“Pascal was trying to set himself up to have a clear advantage in the fight and it’s just unfortunate. I’m very disappointed in him and these actions. I’ve lost a lot of respect for him, a lot of respect.”
Ellerbe said he hopes to keep Jack on the card and that a search for a new opponent is underway.
“I’m looking for an opponent now,” he said. “We’re actively looking.”
Jack added another tweet later Friday night, writing, “(By the way), this wasn’t the first time this happened to me. Lucian Bute took steroids for our fight & now Jean Pascal. Are you so scared of a fair fight with me that y’all need to take steroids to fight me?”
In 2016, Jack retained his super middleweight world title against Bute in a draw in Washington, D.C., after which Bute tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine and the commission changed the result of the bout to a disqualification win for Jack.
Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime