Delfine Persoon cleared for Katie Taylor fight following anti-doping offence


WBC lightweight champion and potential upcoming Katie Taylor opponent Delfine Persoon [43(18)-1(1)] has been cleared following an anti-doping offence committed last year.

The big Belgian is in talks to face the Irish WBO-WBA-IBF champion Taylor [13(6)-0] in an undisputed fight in New York on June 1st but has been under investigation for missing a drug test last October.

A curious case, Persoon was visited at home by a tester from the Flemish regional agency but was unable to urinate and, following an extended period, dismissed him “unceremoniously” due to work relating to her job as a full-time police offcer.

The 34-year-old explained her reasoning on social media at the time and was cleared yesterday by the Flemish Doping Court.

Prosecutor Patrick Verlooy relayed the information to the Belga news agency, explaining that Persoon had been visited at home by a tester on the morning of October 28th but had just gone to the bathroom and was unable to urinate.

The tester accompanied Persoon to training and then on to her police station but was eventually forced to leave as the long-reigning champion was needed to go on a surveillance mission in the nearby town of Aalst.

Verlooy outlined how “Delfine Persoon had just gone to the bathroom. The court accepted this argument, and therefore acquitted it.”

“When the check-up doctor registered at her home that day, Delfine Persoon was unable to immediately deliver a sample because she had just been to the toilet. Subsequently, the control doctor went to her training course and later also to the police offices in Bruges, but even there it was not possible to pee.”

“After this, Delfine Persoon had to leave for a monitoring assignment in Aalst and the inspection doctor was not allowed to follow, after which the check was interrupted.”

The infraction occurred in the build-up to Persoon’s tenth-round stoppage of Judy Waguthii and she would subsequently stop Melissa St Vil after six rounds of a mandatory defence last month.

An undisputed fight with Taylor has long been mooted for the Anthony Joshua v Jarrell Miller undercard at the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York on Saturday June 1st but an announcement is still awaited.

Indeed, the widespread Belgian media reports yesterday indicated that Team Persoon remain unsatisfied with the terms on offer.

Responding to the coverage of the investigation, Persoon blasted perceived media sensationalism.

The green belt holder stated that “this is not about a refused test but an impossibility” before reiterating the reasons why she could not urinate and also criticising the doping controls for not taking into account that she has a full-time job on top of her boxing career.

Persoon says she has successfully passed three tests since the incident.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]