Carl Grove, who broke cycling records in his nineties, was given a public warning in 2019 for anti-doping rule violations.
Conor Benn’s career as he knew it has been plunged into jeopardy following news that he has tested positive twice for a banned substance – namely, clomiphene. The revelation put a halt to his fight with Chris Eubank Jr just days before it was to go ahead, and now he is facing a battle outside of the ring to prove he’s a clean athlete.
Reasons behind the failed tests are expected to be provided soon, and the general consensus in the boxing world is that they will have to be particularly convincing to be accepted. As the wheels of Benn’s defence start spinning, his team may want to look into a case that was present in cycling not long ago.
US cyclist, Carl Grove, failed a drug test which was later announced to be “more likely than not caused by contaminated meat” and supplements. According the the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a supplement Grove took in competition which didn’t list clomiphene as an ingredient was subsequently tested and identified to contain it.
“Grove provided USADA with information about supplements he had used, none of which listed clomiphene or any other prohibited substances on the Supplement Facts label. Detailed analysis subsequently conducted on the supplement by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, confirmed the presence of clomiphene in one of the supplements.”
Despite being proven to have known nothing about the banned substance, Grove was still issued with a public warning. This affected the cyclist’s record, which included a world-record breaking 103 laps, or 21.44 miles, in an hour at the age of 91. As per The Guardian, he found himself in a similar position to Benn now, in that he felt he would always be clouded in the judgement of fans.
“I wanted to be an inspiration, if possible. I worked like a real horse to do it. They struck me from the records. I don’t really care about that too much. The thing that I really, really care about is that I wanted to be a sterling, totally clean person in front of people that knew about me.”
“It looked like I had not been an honest person to a lot of people. I guess I was kind of worried about what did other people think, you know? Then, I began to think, ‘Well, some of them will believe me and some of them won’t.’ I guess that’s just the way it is.”
Contamination seems to be the way Benn’s team are attempting to justify his failed tests, with a suggestion recently that eggs may be involved. We’re expecting plenty more to come in the case in which boxing fans continue to demand answers. As things stand currently, the fighter has vowed never to fight under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control again.