As Conor Benn prepares to provide information that he hopes will clear his name in the minds of fans, SunSport has confirmed that he failed not one, but two tests this year.
The news comes after the British Board of Control upheld allegations of misconduct against the young welterweight this week, and, as the days go on, it’s becoming clear that the parties are embroiled in a bitter feud that could become very messy.
The Sun has tonight revealed that Benn’s failed tests via the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency came in July and September – the latter being widely reported and the reason his fight with Chris Eubank Jr was pulled at the very last minute, but the earlier test previously undisclosed. The story claims that banned substance clomifene was found in his urine tests provided to VADA on July 25 and September 1 – with Benn’s team assuming the first instance was an accident or false positive.
The July test is news to fans who have heard from Benn, his father, and his trainer that he is a clean athlete. A tearful Benn still claims innocence.
“I was informed [of the first failed test] and I thought, ‘It’s probably a faulty test’. I thought, ‘We’ll get to the bottom of it’. We’re still trying to do that. We’re making progress. But the way it’s been blown up has affected me so much. My innocence will be proven, it has to be.”
“I passed all my UKAD tests, which people aren’t talking about. I’ve passed all my tests in and out of camp. I’ve been a professional for seven years and never failed a test. I signed up to VADA in February, so it doesn’t make any sense. Why would I take something then? Trace amounts were found. The tiniest of traces. The only thing I can think of is contamination.”
“I’ve not taken anything. I never have done, never would. It’s not what I stand for, it’s not what my team stands for. Why would I take the biggest fight of my life, sign up to VADA — voluntary anti-doping — and then take this substance? If you Google this substance, it stays in your system for months. Do I look like an idiot?”
Despite the two failed tests, Benn told The Sun that the board was ‘still happy’ for the fight to go ahead. That is, until they weren’t – they announced that the fight was prohibited under their jurisdiction just two days before the event. It’s then reported that the Board fined the fighter £50,000 last week as they upheld misconduct charges against him. In response, Benn gave up his British Boxing license and plans to never re-apply.
The Sun’s story is the latest in the doping drama that has shook the boxing world, and there seems to be plenty more to come.