Eddie Hearn has opened up regarding the issues he has endured following the announcement that Dillian Whyte had failed a VADA-administered anti-doping test and subsequently his removal as Anthony Joshua’s opponent this upcoming Saturday, August 12th.
A scramble had been undertaken since the 5th of this month following VADA & Matchroom Boxing confirming that Whyte had failed his test to secure an opponent for Joshua, who wanted to fight on the 12th regardless of who he fought.
Tuesday saw Robert Helenius secure the opportunity to face Joshua this upcoming Saturday, which, considering all circumstances, is one of the better picks for such a short-notice replacement. However, it is still far from ideal and underwhelming from a spectator standpoint.
No details have been released as to what substance/s Whyte has reportedly tested positive for or the confirmed number of testing samples which have been returned as positive.
In response to those unanswered questions, Hearn has stated that his hands are firmly tied together due to confidentiality regulations and being “put on notice” by Whyte’s legal representatives.
“I can’t [tell you details from the test]. I’ve been put on notice by his [legal] team as well. And also, it’s not fair of me to come out and start giving you information that I don’t know enough about that might jeopardize this very important moment that’s coming up for him,” Hearn said to IFL TV.
However, despite Hearn losing one-half of the main event, they praised VADA for their testing procedures which Hearn states are above and beyond what the British Boxing Board of Control administer (alongside UKAD).
“A good thing here is that the testing that we’ve paid for here - above and beyond British Boxing Board of Control testing - has found that a fighter about to enter a bout has a performance-enhancing drug in his system - which is a good thing. We’re all disappointed and gutted that the fight is not happening,” Hearn said.
The pressing issue which Hearn discussed with IFLTV is the issue regarding Whyte’s licence, of which he does not hold a British Boxing Board of Control licence currently. Hearn admits that he is unsure what the disciplinary procedures will entail in allowing Whyte to put his case forward to the appropriate governing bodies (BBBofC & UKAD) to protest his innocence in line with procedures, alongside how Whyte can be disciplined and suspended without holding a licence.
“Dillian Whyte is not licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control. So, what happens now? He has to clear his name, but at the same time, he can’t be effectively banned or have his license suspended or removed from the British Boxing Board of Control because he’s not licensed there. Does that make sense? He needs to clear his name, he’ll want to do that, but I don’t even know the process that you have to go through to do that,” Hearn explained.
“One thing you can’t do is clear your name with VADA because they are not a disciplinary organization. They are a reporting organization. Does that make sense? So effectively, Dillian Whyte right now can go to another commission and ask for a license or ask for permission to box. I think most of the back of that result would say, ‘We want to have a disciplinary hearing’... I have no idea.”