Ryan Garcia Says He’s Never Taken Steroids As Boxer Reacts To Report He Twice Tested Positive For Performance Enhancing Drug

Garcia, wearing white trunks, fought Devin Haney on April 20, 2024 in New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

By Amy Woodyatt and Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — Boxer Ryan Garcia says he has never taken steroids after ESPN reported he twice tested positive for the performance enhancing drug ostarine – the day before and day of his victory over Devin Haney last month.

“Big lies, I beat his ass,” Garcia said in an expletive filled video on X – formerly Twitter. “Everybody knows I don’t cheat,” he said.

On Wednesday, ESPN reported it had obtained a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) letter, which detailed that the 25-year-old Garcia had submitted urine tests before the fight, but the results were processed afterwards.

Responding to the story, Garcia posted – saying: “I’ve never taken a steroid. … I don’t even know where to get steroids at the end of the day … I barely take supplements.”

Garcia, seen as a poster boy for boxing, training alongside the likes of Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez and Óscar Valdez, knocked down Haney three times in a majority decision victory in front of a sold-out crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on April 20.

Garcia had already missed the weight limit for the showdown, coming up three pounds over.

To miss the weight limit for a world title fight isn’t unheard of, but it’s rare – and it meant that the 25-year-old no longer had a shot at winning the WBC super lightweight title, though the bout still went ahead.

Ostarine is the trademarked name for a selective androgen receptor modulators, known as SARMs, which are pharmaceutical drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone.

These compounds are often marketed to bodybuilders online as “legal steroids” that can help them look leaner and more muscular, and increase athletic performance. It is not approved for human use or consumption in the US, or in any other country, according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

It “is prohibited at all times under the S1 Anabolic Agent category of the WADA Prohibited List,” according to USADA. 

Under New York State Commission rules boxers “fighting in the State undergo mandatory urine testing for examination of prohibited substances.”

A representative for the New York State Athletic Commission told CNN in a statement: “Safety, fairness, and integrity in professional athletic competition are essential. The Commission is in communication with VADA and is reviewing the matter.”

CNN has contacted representatives for Garcia, Haney and VADA for comment.

“It’s unfortunate Ryan cheated and disrespected both the fans and the sport of boxing by fighting dirty and breaking positive not once, but twice,” Haney said in a statement shared on Instagram stories.

ESPN reported that the fights result could be overturned unless Garcia’s B-sample comes back negative. Garcia has 10 days to formally request that this second test be performed.

“Ryan has put out multiple statements denying knowingly using any banned substances – and we believe him,” Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, the agency representing Garcia, told ESPN in its statement.

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