Boxing News revealed earlier this week that UK Anti-Doping charged and “provisionally suspended” Conor Benn as part of its ongoing investigation into the failed drug test that scrapped his fight with Chris Eubank Jr. Today, UKAD confirmed the report.
“Following reports in the media and comments made by professional boxer Mr Conor Benn on Tuesday 18 April 2023, and in exceptional circumstances, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirms that Mr Benn was notified and provisionally suspended by UKAD on 15 March 2023 in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules. Whilst provisionally suspended Mr Benn is prohibited from participating in any capacity (or assisting another Athlete in any capacity) in a Competition, Event or activity that is organised, convened, authorised or recognised by the British Boxing Board of Control or any other World Anti-Doping Code-compliant sport.
“UKAD can also confirm that on 3 April 2023 it charged Mr Benn with an Article 2.2 violation for the alleged Use of a Prohibited Substance (clomifene). The charge against Mr Benn is pending and will now follow the Results Management process in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules.
Benn brushed off the report, saying that it was only the beginning of the process. There is a point of contention between his statement and the original Boxing News report, however, and that’s whether Benn can fight outside the UK while this plays out. The BBBofC, which currently has possession of Benn’s boxing license, only has authority over British events but could hypothetically hamstring Benn’s and his promoter’s ability to operate in the UK should they try to circumvent the ban.
Eddie Hearn and co. seem willing to risk it, having proposed potential comeback fights with Manny Pacquiao or Kell Brook.
Honestly, I’m still not entirely clear as to why we’re six months into this mess and UKAD is only just now starting the process of dealing with it. It cannot possibly be this difficult or time-consuming to hash out a potential doping violation, although considering it took them 14 months to suspend a retired Amir Khan, I suppose it’s par for the course