Dillian Whyte has broken his silence on the ‘shocking and devastating’ news that an adverse finding in his doping test has forced his rematch with Anthony Joshua to be cancelled.
Exactly one week out from fight night, Matchroom released a statement to say that a Voluntary Anti-Doping test taken by Whyte had returned positive, and that the bout would not go ahead.
The 35-year-old has now responded to the news, claiming surprise and innocence.
“I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me. I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it. I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.
I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.”
Whyte then went on to say that he had demanded the drugs testing for the fight, and reiterated the face that he has never taken the so far unnamed substance.
“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.
This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time I will again prove that I am completely innocent.
In the meantime all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”
A full investigation and hearing is now likely to take place. It will be the third of Whyte’s professional career, as he references.
He was banned in 2012 for two years for a performance enhancer despite the National Anti-Doping Panel accepting his defence that he didn’t intentionally ingest the substance.
More recently in 2019, reports emerged after the Brixton heavyweight’s victory over Oscar Rivas that he had failed a test in the build-up. The UK Anti-Doping Agency would go onto clear him of any wrongdoing.