UKAD to launch probe into Conor Benn’s positive drugs test with potential for a four year ban

UKAD are investigating Conor Benn's positive drugs test and could hand out a four-year ban

Conor Benn potentially facing a ban of up to FOUR YEARS, with UKAD to launch probe into his positive drugs test after Chris Eubank Jr bout was postponed, but dad Nigel insists: My son is no cheat

  • UKAD are set to investigate Conor Benn’s shock recent positive drugs test
  • Benn tested positive for clomiphene before his bout with rival Chris Eubank Jr
  • The fight was therefore postponed, with the boxing world shaken by the news
  • Benn could face a ban of up to four years if he is found to have taken the drug

Conor Benn could face a ban of up to four years, with Britain’s anti-doping chiefs poised to formally investigate the positive drug test that crashed his fight with Chris Eubank Jr.

Sportsmail understands the UK Anti-Doping Agency will write to the testing body who collected his sample, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, to request the analysis around the 26-year-old’s adverse finding for clomifene at the start of September.

As the national doping watchdog, only UKAD have the authority to issue a doping charge. But VADA have indicated to us that there are no contractual roadblocks to them handing over documentation concerning UK fighters.

UKAD are investigating Conor Benn’s positive drugs test and could hand out a four-year ban

Benn's failed test led to Saturday's fight at the O2 Arena with Chris Eubank Jr being canceled

Benn’s failed test led to Saturday’s fight at the O2 Arena with Chris Eubank Jr being canceled

Matchroom confirmed that the fight had officially been 'postponed' on Thursday afternoon

Matchroom confirmed that the fight had officially been ‘postponed’ on Thursday afternoon

There had been concerns within the anti-doping community that the finer details of any agreement between VADA and a boxer for pre-fight testing could be protected by the terms of their contract, with sources saying that can be a stipulation when a private testing agency is brought on board by a promotion.

However VADA, whose testing services typically cost a promotion around £30,000, are expected to co-operate.

That will clear the way for UKAD to step in and Sportsmail has learned the organization do want to press ahead with an investigation.

With clomifene a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency list — the fertility drug is classified under hormone and metabolic regulators and can increase testosterone in men — Benn could be hit with a ban of up to four years if he is unable to prove his innocence or give mitigating circumstances for the positive test.

The heavily-anticipated bout in doubt with Benn potentially facing a ban of up to four years

The heavily-anticipated bout in doubt with Benn potentially facing a ban of up to four years

He has maintained he is ‘clean’ since our bombshell revelation on Wednesday and has not been charged with a violation, but has not said if he has requested a test on his B-sample.

Nor has he explained how the substance came to be in his system, with the adverse finding communicated to his team by VADA on September 23, as revealed by this newspaper.

Barring their statement on Wednesday afternoon, two hours after we published news of the positive test, the British Boxing Board of Control have remained silent for much of the saga.

Benn insisted he was a 'clean athlete' on Instagram but his future in boxing is currently unclear

Benn insisted he was a ‘clean athlete’ on Instagram but his future in boxing is currently unclear

Benn’s promoter, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, attempted to challenge their decision to withdraw sanctioning for Saturday night’s fight, insisting on Thursday that he would push on with those legal efforts as they bid to reschedule a bout worth an estimated £15million.

His argument is rooted in the belief that the Board cannot act on a VADA result when UKAD are their official testing agency, a stance that was met with incredulity in the sport.

Benn’s father Nigel broke his silence on Friday, saying: ‘As you know, we’re in total shock. I’ve been with my son for the last 10 weeks and the training has just gone absolutely the best it could have ever been.

‘He’s a dedicated trainer, he leaves no stone unturned and we’ll get to the bottom of this. I love my son and I know he doesn’t cut any corners, he just goes straight at it, 100 per cent.

‘We’ll keep you informed. We’ll let you know what the next step is, but he’s a faithful trainer and a clean athlete.’

Benn’s trainer Tony Sims said he was devastated, adding: ‘After 26 years in boxing, a sport I love and have dedicated my life to, I can say hand on heart that I have never experienced or witnessed any athlete in my camp fail an anti -doping test, voluntary or mandatory, and I stand proudly by that fact.

‘Today leaves me truly devastated as we call a postponement to such an amazing event that I was honored to say I was part of.

Coach Tony Sims (right) admitted he had been left 'devastated' by the news of Benn's drug test

Coach Tony Sims (right) admitted he had been left ‘devastated’ by the news of Benn’s drug test

‘I have worked closely with Conor Benn for the last seven years, developing and mentoring him as a fighter in the ring and a man outside of it.

‘Having spoken to Conor personally in length surrounding the subject and listening to him, I support him as a coach and a friend.

‘We are determined to get to the bottom of this as a team, working closely with Conor’s legal advisors in an effort to understand the meaning of the ‘adverse finding’ and resolve this matter urgently.’

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