UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has refused to confirm or deny that Conor Benn is being investigated after failing a drugs test ahead of his cancelled clash with Chris Eubank Jr.
It was revealed on Wednesday that an “adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug” had shown up in one of Benn's recent tests by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) ‘prohibited' the catchweight bout against Eubank Jr, which was scheduled for Saturday at The O2, stating that the fight was “not in the interests of boxing”.
A statement released by Matchroom and Wasserman Boxing outlined that Benn has “passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD”, but reports have suggested that the governing body could carry out its own probe into VADA's findings.
“We neither confirm nor deny if we're running an investigation or if a case is active,” a spokesperson told Sky Sports.
UKAD chief executive Jane Rumble had released a statement on Thursday, saying: “UKAD notes the reporting of a failed VADA test by the boxer Conor Benn with concern.
“UKAD acts on all reports of doping and always encourages anyone with information on suspected doping activity to come forward and share that with us.”
Benn Sr: ‘Total shock' in fight postponement
Former middleweight world champion Nigel Benn defended his son, Conor, after the postponement of the fight and insisted that he was a “clean athlete”.
Eubank Jr and Benn were keen to proceed with the bout, which follows the two clashes between their fathers in the 1990s, but promoters confirmed on Thursday that the clash was off.
“Hi guys, as you know we're in total shock,” Benn Sr said in an Instagram video on Friday. “I've been with my son for the last 10 weeks and the training has just gone absolutely the best it could ever have been.
“I love my son. I know he don't [sic] cut no corners, he just goes straight at it, 100 per cent. But we'll keep you informed and let you know what the next step is but you know, he's a faithful trainer and a clean athlete.”
Writing on social media about his positive test, Benn said on Thursday: “I am truly gutted that we are unable to make this fight happen on Saturday and I'm sorry to everyone who has been affected by the postponement.
“I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days. My team and I will consider the next options including rescheduling the fight, but my immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete!”
Timeline: Why Benn vs Eubank Jr was postponed
Wednesday morning – Reports emerge that Conor Benn has returned an “adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug” in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test.
Wednesday lunchtime – Both promoters issue joint statement in reaction to VADA result, where they say B sample has yet to be tested and no rule violation has been confirmed.
Wednesday, 2.20pm – British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) releases statement to say Saturday's scheduled fight is “prohibited as it is not in the interests of boxing”.
Wednesday afternoon – Both fighters attend live open workout in central London. Benn insists he is a “clean athlete” and wants fight to go ahead. Eubank Jr says he is happy to proceed with the contest, although denies claims that he had a phone conversation with his opponent.
Thursday morning – Concerns increase over the status of the fight when head-to-head press conference in a Canary Wharf hotel, scheduled for lunchtime, is pushed back twice.
Thursday lunchtime – Eddie Hearn tweets that he would not promote the fight with a foreign commission or alternative governing body.
Thursday, 4pm – Both promoters issue joint statement to say the fight has been postponed. Statement accuses BBBoC's decision to withdraw sanctioning as “procedurally flawed and without due process”.