It was a grim day for boxing yesterday as the sport made the headlines for all of the wrong reasons – and it’s not over yet.
As Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn made the final preparations for one of the biggest British sporting events of the year, the Daily Mail broke the news that Benn had recently returned a drug test to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) with an initial adverse finding of a banned substance.
The British Board of Control – although their own anti-doping agency (UKAD) had returned no suspicious results – released a statement in the wake of the news ‘prohibiting’ the fight under their jurisdiction. Fans and pundits alike demanded more information about the adverse result for clomifene – a drug typically prescribed for infertility in women but also reported to increase testosterone in men.
Despite all of the above, promoters Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland are still moving forward with the fight plans, and are said to be looking for ways to either work with the BBBofC to stage the event or find an alternative route. Both fighters are onboard too. News from the Daily Mail, who broke the bombshell story, says that today’s press conference will go ahead.
However, it appears that the timing has been pushed back as those involved behind the scenes continue to seek the solution they want. Matchroom Boxing have announced the new schedule for the fighters to speak to the press – with the stars of the show now appearing at 4PM.
Today's Press Conferences ⏰
3pm, Undercard: https://t.co/iqJVoFgWIn
4pm, Main Event: https://t.co/3GYkE7IVU3#EubankJrBenn
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 6, 2022
The last we heard from Benn was a claim of innocence at Wednesday’s media workout event.
“My team will find out why there’s been an initial adverse finding in my test but as far as I’m concerned, the fight’s still going ahead. I’m a clean athlete and we’ll get to the bottom of this. I’ll see you all on Saturday.”
The sticking point for many fans though is that it’s reported the test results were delivered to Benn’s team late last month, presumably giving them at least some time to ‘find out why.’
It seems like more will become clear at the press conference this afternoon which, according to reports, will still take place. It’s assumed that an announcement as to the status of the event will be made at that time, too. It’s getting dangerously close to fight night now, and Eddie Hearn has told the media that if the main event doesn’t go ahead, the whole card will likely be scrapped.