clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eddie Hearn says Conor Benn has to justify the banned substance found in his system

The Matchroom promoter says there’s no question a banned substance was found in Conor Benn’s drug test, and now it’s up to him to provide a justifiable explanation.

Eddie Hearn says Conor Benn is already guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

In a conversation with Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn took some time to update the public on the ongoing case with Conor Benn, who was pulled from a scheduled fight with Chris Eubank Jr until he tested positive for a banned substance.

Hearn, who was initially very supportive of Benn, says it’s now on Benn to make his case that will determine his immediate future in the sport.

“He’s going through a legal process at the moment where he will have a hearing over the next couple of weeks,” Hearn said. “Ultimately that will decide his fate, or immediate fate, in boxing. There’s a huge amount of science and research that has gone on behind the scenes. That case will be presented and he will be found not guilty or he’ll be banned — three months, six months, a year, whatever that could be.

“And we need to go through that process because until then he can’t even think about fight, and he wouldn’t either. So he has to go through that process, has to have a hearing and that will happen over the next couple of weeks — and we want that speed up because obviously there’s a lot of people talking in the media. Let’s get the facts out there. Let’s hear his case and let someone decide his future in boxing and it’s going to be a very big fight for him.

“I’ve been through this with Conor Benn a number of times, a dozen times where I’ve had him in the office over the last month, six weeks, with his team and everybody — it’s shown up in his system. You have to justify that and you have to give your case for that. So in that respect if you can’t, you can’t just say ‘the science believes it’s contamination, is that okay?’ Do you know what I mean?

“Even if you’ve been unlucky, you have to pay the consequences, and that may come in the shape of if someone felt like it wasn’t a deliberate ingestion of this substance, is it a three month, six month (suspension)? If they feel it was, is it 12 months, is it two years? I have idea.

“But ultimately he’s in a very difficult situation. And also, the public has already made up their mind, without knowing anything, really. Because in this situation it’s not really innocent until proven guilty, it’s guilty until proven innocent, and I get that because if you fail a drug test, you fail a drug test.

“It’s in your system and you have to prove why it’s in there and that’s now the biggest fight that he has in front of him and we’ll have no idea when he’ll be back in the ring. But until this process takes place he can’t think about it, I don’t think he wants to think about it because he wants the public to hear all the facts, and he wants a decision to be made, and he wants to either deal with that or resume training and get back in the ring.

“I think the hearing will take place in the next week or two. I have no idea how long it’s gonna take...I would think over the next three of four weeks there will be a final decision of his future in boxing and when that potentially could resume.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook