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Tyson Fury free to fight again, accepts backdated ban

The former heavyweight champion can officially return to the ring, if he wants.

Boxing at Manchester Arena Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is free to return to the ring if he so chooses, accepting a “backdated” two-year ban for doping from UKAD.

Fury and his cousin, Hughie, have been investigated since the summer of 2016, after Tyson tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in 2015.

UKAD released the following statement:

"Taking into account the delays in results management that meant charges were not brought in respect of the nandrolone findings until June 2016, and the provisional suspensions that Tyson and Hughie Fury have already effectively served, the two year period of ineligibility is backdated to 13 December 2015, and therefore expires at midnight on 12 December 2017."

Now 29, Fury (25-0, 18 KO) hasn’t fought since his November 2015 win over Wladimir Klitschko, an upset which netted him the world heavyweight championship and ended Klitschko’s long reign on top of the division.

While he’s been sidelined, Fury has repeatedly retired, but also repeatedly declared intentions to return to boxing against various opponents, most recently Tony Bellew, who is set to face David Haye in a May 5 rematch next year.

If Fury does return, he’ll be highly valuable immediately. He’s still got one of the biggest names in the division, which remains shallow past titleholders Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, both of whom have been media targets of Fury’s, and contenders Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, who have themselves had drug testing issues in the last couple of years, both of them failing tests before scheduled fights with Wilder that never came to pass.

Fury’s only hurdle to clear now is getting his boxing license back, presumably from the British Boxing Board of Control, but he has such box office appeal that it’s hard to imagine him not finding someone to license him, even if the BBBofC made the surprising decision not to re-license the former champ.

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