British Board Announces Conor Benn Investigation
The British Boxing Board of Control announced on Friday that it has opened an investigation in conjunction with official British drug testing agency U.K. Anti-Doping into the positive test returned last month by Conor Benn.
He tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug clomiphene in a test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in a result returned Sept. 23. It led to the eventual cancellation of Benn’s heavily hyped 157-pound catch weight fight with Chris Eubank Jr. that was scheduled for Oct. 8 at the sold-out O2 in London.
The fight was only canceled after England’s Daily Mail reported the leaked test results during fight week. It appeared as though British officials, the promoters and fighters were prepared to move forward with the fight despite the positive test — until the results were made public and caused a storm of controversy.
The BBBofC, which uses UKAD testing and doesn’t recognize VADA results, ultimately announced it would “prohibit” the fight. Promoters Matchroom Boxing and Wasserman Boxing considered seeking an injunction against the BBBofC in an effort to allow the fight to happen, but they elected not to pursue that avenue and called off the fight last Thursday.
“Following the British Boxing Board of Control Limited’s decision on 4th October 2022 to prohibit the contest between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn that was scheduled to take place on 8th October 2022, the Board is aware that it has been widely reported in the press that an ‘A’ sample provided by Mr. Benn to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association tested positive for a prohibited substance,” BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith said in a statement.
“UK Anti-Doping has launched an investigation in relation to Mr. Benn and the Board is in communication with UKAD in relation to that investigation. The Board will release further details in relation to this matter, as and when appropriate.”
It has yet to be announced whether Benn (21-14 KOs), 26, will seek to have his ‘B’ sample tested. If Benn, who has not been formally suspended, is ruled to have doped, he faces a possible two-year ban under UKAD rules.