Conor Benn stands his ground on claims he is a clean athlete following his failed drug test. The 26-year-old who was due to fight Chris Eubank Jr. on October 8, tested positive for a banned substance, Clomifene, a women’s fertility drug which is classified under hormone and metabolic regulators, and can increase testosterone levels in men. This was a huge disappointment to fans around the UK, especially those who had boxing tickets.
Testing positive can lead to a ban for two to four years. UFC star Jon Jones has previously been suspended for also returning positive samples of the drug.
Some boxers, both active and retired, after hearing this, have called for Benn to be banned for life, making the fighter reply on social media. He wrote: “I hope the apology is as loud as the disrespect!”
Benn is set to be formally investigated by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), as the Briton faces a possible ban of up to four years. UKAD admitted the positive test was a “concern” but refused to comment about any potential investigation.
Frank Warren told The Daily Mail: “It’s no secret that a British fighter has failed a drugs test but lawyers are trying to prevent the WBC and the British Boxing Board of Control from releasing details.”
The failed drugs test came through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) in September and not the UKAD, the body sanctioned to oversee drug testing for the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC). It was revealed that an “adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug” had shown up in one of Benn’s recent tests.
However, UKAD chief executive Jane Rumble released a statement on Thursday saying: “UKAD noted the reporting of a failed VADA test by the boxer Conor Benn with concern. UKAD acts on all reports of doping and always encourages anyone with information on suspected doping activity to come forward and share that with us.”
Eubank Jr and Benn were keen to proceed as both fighters could give the green light, as a boxing license was not needed for the fight to go ahead by law. The bout follows the two clashes between their fathers in the 1990s, however, the BBBofC prohibited the scheduled bout between both fighters, saying the fight was not in the interests of boxing.
Image copyright: Jake Donovan
The potential second failed drugs test – also for Clomifene – is said to have taken place earlier this year. That Benn now appears to have previously tested positive for what is claimed to be the identical drug that delayed the fight makes a ban seem inevitable – one potentially even longer than the customary four-year suspension for a single violation, which could keep the 26-year-old out of the ring into his thirties.
Benn remains adamant, claiming he is innocent, however, insisting he will be owed a hefty apology. Writing on social media about his positive test, Benn said: “I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days. My team and I will consider the next options including rescheduling the fight, but my immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete!”
Image copyright: Mark Robinson
The boxer’s father, former middleweight world champion, Nigel Benn has also insisted after the postponement of the fight, that his son is a ‘faithful trainer’ in an emotional Instagram post.