Conor Benn has failed a drug test, casting doubt on Saturday’s big fight with Chris Eubank Jr, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The global welterweight apparently produced a negative finding for clomiphene, a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances, which is normally used to treat infertility in women.
The report states that Eubank has indicated that he still wants the fight to continue, although it is unlikely that it is his fault.
“We have taken medical advice,” Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promoter, told TalkSport. “It can increase testosterone levels, but the experts we consulted couldn’t see any benefit from it. So based on that, we immediately consulted with the most important person on our side, namely the athlete. He liked to go further.
“We also spoke directly to Benn, there was a direct discussion between the two. I’m not privileged to have that discussion, but they had a personal discussion about it.”
The test was apparently conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). The case is currently under investigation, and the show is still going on pending further notice. Fight week activities, including a media workout scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, remain in place.
“We have been notified that a randomized anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association has produced a negative analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug,” Matchroom Boxing said in a press statement. “The B sample is yet to be tested, meaning no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he has not been suspended and he remains free to fight.
“Mr Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the British Anti-Doping Agency, the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its pre-match doping control tests. Mr Benn has passed all the doping tests conducted by UKAD. Both fighters have have sought medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information and intend to continue the fight next Saturday.”
In January, Benn was removed from the WBC rankings for failing to participate in the Clean Boxing program they run with Vada, although he returned to the rankings after signing up.
Saturday’s fight has attracted huge interest in the UK, 30 years after the couple’s fathers – Nigel and Chris Sr – met in the second of their world title fights.
The fight was made at 157 pounds, with middleweight Eubank dropping three pounds from his normal fighting weight and Benn gaining 10 pounds. Last Thursday, when Benn spoke to the media at his gym in Essex, he said he was five pounds over the 157-pound fight limit.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was a boxing correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001 to 2019, covering four Olympic Games and countless world title fights around the world. Since the 1980s, he has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications around the world.
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