Sam Jones, Head of Talent for Probellum, has admitted that he is finding it extremely hard to believe that Conor Benn is innocent, as much as he would like him to be.
Jones, the former manager of Joe Joyce, told Seconds Out that everything is indicating that Benn has cheated. Whilst there are many theories attempting to explain how Clomifene could have got into Benn’s system, the man himself has yet to have an excuse of his own, which Jones respects.
“From an outside perspective looking in, it is very, very hard to believe him. Everything indicates that he has cheated. All roads lead to the fact that he has cheated. What I would say is that he has not come out and said he’s took a tablet, it’s one of his missus’ tablets, which he could have said. I know it sounds hilarious and people would say ‘guilty until proven innocent’ and things like that, but he could have come out and said that he’s been spiked or other excuses like ‘the dog ate the homework’ kind of stuff. He hasn’t, he’s just said ‘I don’t know how this [drug] has got into my system. I don’t know.’
“I hope Conor [Benn] is innocent and he can come out and say f**k you to everybody and ‘look at this’, but right now, he looks as guilty as O.J. Simpson.”
Although Jones recognises that Benn may be guilty, he doesn’t believe that his team, and particularly his trainer Tony Sims, knew about the drug.
“People have already made their minds up on it, I’ve pretty much made my mind up on it but what I won’t do is sit here and say that his team are in on it, because I genuinely believe, and I’m not just saying this, that Tony Sims is an honourable, good man, proper boxing guy and he’s straight down the line. I think if he has cheated, it’s something between Conor [Benn] and the supplier, I think it is just him.”
Benn’s future in boxing is hanging in the balance as the investigation into his positive VADA test continues. If he is guilty he could face a four-year ban from the sport.