HomeSportsUK Anti-Doping's handling of Conor Benn frustrates promoter Eddie Hearn

UK Anti-Doping’s handling of Conor Benn frustrates promoter Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn has criticized what he perceives as double standards by UK Anti-Doping over its handling of the failed drug tests of Conor Benn and Amir Khan, adding that the whole process “sucks”.

Benn tested positive twice for clomiphene, a banned testosterone-boosting drug, in the buildup to a 157-pound catchweight fight against Chris Eubank Jr, leading to the fight being canceled on fight week.

While Benn has vigorously protested his innocence ever since, UKAD revealed that the British welterweight was provisionally suspended last month and accused him of a doping offense two and a half weeks ago.

Public knowledge about Khan’s failed test in February 2022 only came to light once UKAD issued a two-year ban earlier this month, with the now-retired fighter cleared of intentional doping.

Hearn, Benn’s promoter, said: “UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control proceedings are apparently confidential, so much so that Amir Khan failed a drug test and nobody knew about it for 14 months until the conclusion.

“I am walking out of press conferences and the media is telling me what is going on with the reports of suspensions and bans. I have not been notified or told of any of this. It’s the strangest situation I’ve ever been involved in.

“Conor Benn, in my opinion, is not being treated in the same way as other fighters. He’s a big mess and something doesn’t make sense. We have to go through the process, but it all sucks.”

Doping inquiries are normally kept private until a resolution is reached, but Benn has been in the spotlight since it was revealed that two voluntary tests had found trace amounts of clomiphene, while earlier this week he said that was “in touch” with UKAD.

A UKAD spokesperson said on Thursday: “Following media reports and comments made by professional boxer Conor Benn on Tuesday 18 April 2023, and under exceptional circumstances, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirms that Mr. Benn was notified and provisionally.” suspended by UKAD on March 15, 2023 in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules.

“While provisionally suspended, Mr. Benn is prohibited from participating in any capacity (or assisting another athlete in any capacity) in any competition, event or activity organized, convened, authorized or recognized by the British Boxing Board of Control or any another world. Sport that complies with the Anti-Doping Code.

“UKAD can also confirm that on 3 April 2023 it charged Mr Benn with a breach of Article 2.2 for the alleged use of a prohibited substance (clomiphene). The charge against Mr. Benn is pending.”

Despite relinquishing his BBBofC license, Benn (21-0, 14KOs) was planning a comeback this summer outside of the UK with Eubank Jr, Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao as opponents.

Following the UKAD announcement, Benn said on Twitter: “I remain free to fight at events that are not BBBoC sanctioned.”

In February, the WBC accepted that there was “no conclusive evidence that Benn knowingly or intentionally ingested” clomiphene, which is banned in and out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A “very high consumption of eggs” was considered a “reasonable explanation”, although Benn disputed the claim after his team presented their findings to the sanctioning body and they have now also been passed on to UKAD.

Hearn added: “The document and report have been shared with UKAD, which is a positive thing. He (Benn) has shared it with the WBC, which has cleaned it up and reinstated it in the rankings.

“Now he has to go through the UKAD situation, and who knows how long that will take.”



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