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Avni Yildirim fails drug test

Yildirim tested positive for two separate steroids

Boxing - press conference of the “World Boxing Series” Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images

So, uh, change of plans.

Turkish super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim, who was set to be the first challenger of David Benavidez’s current reign, has failed a VADA test for DHCMT (also known as Turinabol) and methylclostebol, both banned steroids.

The WBC’s statement:

On September 26, 2019, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (“VADA”) reported to the World Boxing Council (“WBC”) that an “A” sample collected from Avni Yildirim on September 13, 2019 in Big Bear, California in connection with a random collection under the WBC Clean Boxing Program (“WBC CBP”), gave an adverse analytical finding for the presence of DHCMT/ methylclostebol (the “Finding”).

In light of the Finding, and as part of the WBC’s Results Management duties, the WBC has undertaken an investigation of the facts that resulted in the Finding including, but not limited to the: (1) circumstances surrounding the Finding; and (2) history and properties of the substance(s) revealed by the Finding.

In addition, Avni Yildirim and his team voluntarily agreed to hold an immediate evaluation meeting with an expert scientist approved by the WBC to conduct an in-depth analysis of the situation at hand. The WBC considers those steps necessary to achieve a conclusion of the matter consistent with the WBC Rules and Regulations and with the WBC CBP Protocol. The WBC will make an announcement in the near future about the results of its investigation and evaluation, and about the disposition of this matter.

Yildirim (21-2, 12 KO) can still request his “B”-sample be tested. For now, though, don’t expect him to stay at the front of the line for Benavidez.

The next three highest-ranked WBC contenders are Chris Eubank Jr., David Lemieux, and Azizbek Abdugofurov. Eddie Hearn has also petitioned the WBC for a unification match between WBC champ Benavidez and WBA “super” champ Callum Smith, though the latter is presently set to fight John Ryder next month. We’ll see how this plays out.

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