Eddie Hearn’s guess that VADA Testing isn’t being employed in the Claressa Shields versus Savannah Marshall fight hasn’t gone down well with those involved.
The promoter is still trying to tidy up the mess left by the recent postponement of Chris Eubank Jr after it was discovered that his fighter, Benn, had been found to have a banned substance in his system. In an exclusive interview with Boxing Social, Hearn used the upcoming all-female card headlined by Shields and Marshall to make a point about how his events test more than others.
“Marshall against Shields. Is there VADA testing? I’m 99% sure there isn’t, because normally they will announce VADA on their Twitter page – ‘welcome to the VADA programme.’ Now, that means that Claressa Shields has not been tested for this event, because she would only be tested by UKAD because she’s fighting here, but UKAD won’t be testing her when she’s in America. And by the way, I’m sure that Claressa Shields is a clean athlete.”
Shields took issue with the statement, and took to Twitter to prove the she was in fact in a testing programme for the fight.
“I’m sorry to burst your bubble Eddie Hearn but me and Marshall have been getting randomly drug tested for the past 3 1/2 to 4 months leading up to this fight by VADA Testing! Don’t be mad cause you wanted a fighter to risk their life against your fighter for a pay day! Loser!”
The American then followed up with some receipts – posting screenshots of confirmations from VADA. For what it’s worth, Hearn back tracked slightly by replying that all he said was he ‘wasn’t sure’ the fight had VADA, and ended the exchange by wishing Shields all the best. Such was the reach of his comments that VADA themselves saw fit to confirm it, too.
It’s plenty more of these negative tests @EddieHearn ! READ ALL ABOUT IT! Keep the GWOAT name out your mouth if you don’t have facts! Now you look even more STUPID! Don’t need an apology but I’ve been drug tested for all my undisputed matches! pic.twitter.com/Rs9qBACUc7
— Claressa Gwoat Shields (@Claressashields) October 13, 2022
— Vada-Testing.org (@Vada_Testing) October 13, 2022
The response to his comments didn’t stop there though. In the initial interview, Hearn went on to say that Matchroom are one of the ‘very few’ who are paying for additional testing. Ben Shalom, BOXXER promoter and the man at the helm of the Shields – Marshall event, took issue with that and the overall statement. He made his feeling known to IFL TV.
“Look, people know what’s gone on there [with Benn] – what can I say? Of course they’ve been tested … Why are we talking about drug testing on Shields – Marshall? Read into that what you will. We’re trying to pick up after last week’s farce and show how big this sport can be and how great this sport can be. I don’t want to go back and forth … but don’t throw shade on the sport on such an unbelievable night. We’re trying to get rid of just talking about drugs in boxing.”
“Every big fight that I’ve been involved in, VADA Testing has been involved in. It’s standard to request it.”
The back and forths come after an official statement from the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed an investigation into Benn, as well as more promises from his team that that they will soon shed light on the situation.