Conor Benn cleared to return following doping saga

Undefeated welterweight, Conor Benn, has seen his anti-doping issues to a close after being cleared by Independent Anti-Doping Panel following two failed VADA tests for the substance Clomiphene in the lead-up to his scheduled October 2022 encounter with Chris Eubank Jr.

The contest, which was pulled due to losing its sanctioning from the British Boxing Board of Control, had been provisionally suspended in April of this year as UKAD began its investigation into Benn’s failed tests, which VADA conducted. Issues arose immediately following Benn’s provisional suspension due to various articles and rulings within the BBBofC rules, which stated that VADA tests were not recognised by the British governing body for professional boxing.

Benn was also removed from the WBC’s welterweight ratings regarding his doping issues. However, he was returned to the ratings after the organisation felt Benn did not willingly or knowingly take the substance. The WBC believed Benn’s elevated levels of the substance found in his system were partially due to contaminated eggs, which Benn denied was the case.

The announcement regarding Benn’s clearance to resume his career came from Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, with the promotional entity posting a video on social media where Hearn and Benn discussed the outcome via telephone.

Conor, who is twenty-one fights into his professional career, released a statement regarding his clearance and ultimately wants to resume his career as quickly as possible while thanking those who have stood by him.

“Today marks the end of a gruelling 10-month process, during which the WBC had already decided that I was innocent of any wrongdoing. After a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Panel and UKAD, I have now been vindicated for the second time.

“Hopefully, the public and various members of the media can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through. The UKAD process has now formally ended, and I remain free to fight. Naturally, I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all.

“As you can imagine, the last ten months have weighed heavily on me, and I am anxious that if this happened to me, it could potentially happen to any honest, dedicated and clean athlete like me. I would like to thank my fans that have kept the faith when many have turned against me, as well as my team, Matchroom, my friends and family and sponsors.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said of Benn’s exoneration: “[It’s] a massive moment for him, for us.

“It’s just been over a year since we learned of these adverse findings, and it’s been a brutal and painful year of work and belief and decisions to back an individual that we believed in.

“And I can’t wait to see him fight.”

UKAD has since published a statement following Benn’s clearance to return to action after being cleared by the Independent National Anti-Doping Panel. Although the organisation has not disclosed the findings from the hearing between Benn, themselves and the independent anti-doping panel, it has stated that all parties have twenty-one days to submit an appeal regarding the ruling of Benn’s clearance.

“In April 2023, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) took the exceptional step of publicly disclosing details of Mr Conor Benn’s provisional suspension and charge following reports from the media and comments made by Mr Benn himself. UKAD’s statement also confirmed that the case would follow the Results Management process in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules.

“UKAD notes that Mr Benn has made further public comments today regarding proceedings before the independent National Anti-Doping Panel. UKAD can confirm Mr Benn is no longer provisionally suspended under the UK Anti-Doping Rules.

“The UK Anti-Doping Rules detail limited circumstances in which UKAD is able to make public disclosures about ongoing cases. They also set out a clear process within which cases can be heard, and decisions can be handed down by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel. Where case decisions are handed down by a panel, the Rules provide all relevant parties with a right of appeal. Under the Rules, UKAD has 21 days from the date of receipt of a decision to file any appeal. UKAD carefully reviews all decisions in its cases before deciding whether to exercise its right of appeal.

“UKAD is not able to make any further public disclosures in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules at this time.”