Following months of uncertainty and frustration, Conor Benn has announced that a conclusion has been reached by the UK Anti-Doping Agency as to his failed tests for Clomiphene.
Benn’s career was plunged into doubt when news broke of the failed drugs test just days before he was due to face Chris Eubank Jr last October. The fight was pulled, and thus began one of the biggest scandals British boxing has seen in some time.
Throughout it all, Benn has been adamant of his innocence, first claiming that he believed laboratory errors were to blame and that the substance – a testosterone booster and, more commonly, female fertility aid – was never in his system.
That defence changed recently with a new team of scientists, who claimed to have proven Benn’s interaction with the substance must have come through food contamination
Benn’s team were to present this evidence to UKAD for his formal hearing – one which many fans believe was much too long coming.
The Daily Mail recently reported that the case was two-pronged, the first stage focusing on UKAD’s jurisdiction to rule on the case given the tests were obtained by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency and Benn had since relinquished his British license.
The 26-year-old has now taken to social media to announce that he has been ‘vindicated’ by UKAD and the National Anti-Doping Panel.
“Today marks the end of the of a gruelling 10 month process, during which the WBC had already decided that I was innocent of any wrongdoing. After a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Panel and UKAD, I have now been vindicated for the second time. Hopefully the public and various members of the media can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through.
The UKAD process has now formally ended, and I remain free to fight. Naturally I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all.
As you can imagine the last 10 months have weighed heavily on me and I am anxious that if this happened to me it could potentially happen to any honest, dedicated and clean athlete like me.
I would like to thank my fans that have kept the faith when many have turned against me, as well as my team, Matchroom, my friends and family, sponsors and also my legal team, all of whom have shared a belief in me and a commitment to ensuring the correct result being obtained and justice being achieved. Only with the strength of all this support have I been able to continue during this challenging time.
I now intend to put this matter behind me and look forward. Which begins with fighting as soon as possible so I can remind everyone who I am.”
As of writing, it’s unclear as to how the verdict was reached or the specifics of the judgement. A formal statement from UKAD is expected imminently.
Eddie Hearn revealed that ‘this was not a decision based on jurisdiction.’