Conor Benn has failed a drug test throwing Saturday’s big fight with Chris Eubank Jr into doubt, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The world-ranked welterweight apparently produced an adverse finding for clomifene, a substance on the World Anti=Doping Agency banned list, which is normally used to treat infertility in women.
The report claims that Eubank has indicated that he still wants the fight to go ahead, although it is unlikely to be down to him.
“We took medical advice,” Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promoter told TalkSport. “It can raise testosterone levels but the experts we consulted couldn’t see that it was giving an advantage. So on the basis of that we discussed straight away with the most important person on our side, who is the athlete. He was happy to continue.
“We spoked to Benn as well directly, there was a direct discussion between the two. I am not privileged to that discussion but they had a personal discussion on it.”
The test was apparently carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). The matter is currently being investigated, with the show still moving forward pending further notice. Fight week activities—including a media workout scheduled for Wednesday afternoon—remain in place.
"We have been made aware that a random anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returned an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug," Matchroom Boxing said in a press statement. "The B sample has yet to be tested, meaning that no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended, and he remains free to fight.
"Mr. Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency, the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its doping control testing for the bout. Mr Benn has passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD. Both fighters have taken medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information, and wish to proceed with the bout this Saturday."
In January, Benn was removed from the WBC rankings for failing to join the Clean Boxing Program they run with Vada, although he was returned to the rankings after signing up.
Saturday’s fight has gained huge interest in the UK, coming 30 years after the pair’s fathers – Nigel and Chris Sr – met in the second of their world title fights.
The fight has been made at 157 pounds, with middleweight Eubank coming down three pounds from his normal fighting weight and Benn putting on 10 pounds. Last Thursday, as Benn spoke to the media in his Essex gym, he said he was five pounds over the 157-pound fight limit.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.