Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions have issued an official statement with respect to the recent overseas reports of former world champion Zolani Tete testing positive for a banned substance in connection with his July fight with Jason Cunningham.
According to a report published this past Monday by The Daily Dispatch, a South African newspaper, the former WBO bantamweight champion faces a possible four-year ban because he tested positive for a banned substance around the time of his fourth-round knockout of Cunningham on July 2 at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
The Daily Dispatch did not identify the banned substance.
The test in question was collected by UK-Anti Doping [UKAD]. According to The Daily Dispatch, UKAD informed the drug testing authority in South Africa, SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport, of Tete's adverse test result. And then the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport informed the local governing body, Boxing SA.
BSA acting CEO Nsikayezwe Sithole confirmed to The Daily Dispatch that his office had received the news of Tete’s positive test.
“We are engaging with Tete’s team and they have advised us they will challenge the finding,” he said.
Tete’s manager, Mla Tengimfene, stated that the South African southpaw had arranged to have his “B” sample tested.
“We are confident that this is one big mistake. Zolani has no knowledge of this and in all the years I have been with him he has never failed a dope test. It baffles me that he would do it now at the tail end of his career,” Tengimfene said to The Daily Dispatch.
Tete (30-4, 23 KOs) is enrolled in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s “Clean Boxing Program,” which subjects boxers ranked by the WBC to year-round testing.
According to a spokesman from Queensberry Promotions, they were first made aware of Tete's positive test when BoxingScene.com reached out for a statement on the matter.
"Queensberry Promotions were first informed by BoxingScene.com on Monday (21st November 2022) that former world champion Zolani Tete allegedly returned an adverse analytical finding following a UKAD test that took place, five months ago, after his fight with Jason Cunningham on 2nd July 2022," the statement explained.
"At this time Queensberry, who promoted the show, has not been formally notified of any issue by UKAD nor indeed by the British Boxing Board of Control and therefore, without any substantiated information are not able to comment further.
"At this time, without such information, or as to what substance has been identified, we are not qualified to make further comment.
"Tete’s management refute the claim and will request that the B Sample is analyzed immediately and will co-operate with any due process."