Returning Benn calls for 'law change' on clomifene

Conor Benn wants anti-doping agencies to change their stance on clomifene.

The 26-year-old returns to the ring at 154 pounds against Rodolfo Orozco on Saturday at Caribe Royale Orlando in Florida, on the undercard of the fight between Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda, despite him not yet having been cleared of any wrongdoing over his twice testing positive for the substance.

He last fought in April 2022, when stopping Chris van Heerden at 147 pounds. He was then scheduled to fight Eubank Jr at a catchweight of 157 pounds last October, but three days before their date at London’s O2 Arena news of him testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug broke. 

A ruling in his favour by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) in July meant his suspension being lifted, but UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), who had provisionally suspended him, have not yet officially cleared him, and confirmed that they were launching an appeal against the ruling from the NADP.

Clomifene is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). On their website, regardless, is a study – referenced by Benn – conducted by the German Sports University that explores how contaminated food can be responsible for potential adverse findings of the drug that raises testosterone and exists to enhance female fertility.

“That’s currently what’s being dealt with,” Benn responded when asked if he knows how it made its way into his system. “That’s what’s being made public. I’m just letting my team deal with that.

“I’ve always been diligent with everything I’ve done in my career. But if you’re eating a banana, and it says it’s a banana, and it looks like a banana; it tastes like a banana… how can that be strict liability? There should be more duty of care for athletes, because not everyone has the resources to fight this.

“People need to look further but how can that be strict liability, if it’s in our food? You can’t stop that. How is this not common knowledge? There’ll be more fighters who test positive for this.

“I hope I can change the law on testing for clomifene. I still want to work with UKAD. Hopefully everything I’ve been through changes how they test for clomifene, because other athletes may not have the resources – what about these other fighters that come through? You’ve got to look at it from the bigger picture.”

As he spoke Benn was sat alongside his promoter Eddie Hearn, who defended Robert Helenius over his recent positive test for a banned substance. Helenius replaced Dillian Whyte as Anthony Joshua’s most recent opponent on a Matchroom promotion after Whyte couldn’t fight having tested positive, and in turn returned a positive test, post-fight.

“If the science comes back and it’s proven doping, ban for life,” Benn responded when asked about his wider stance on the use of PEDs. “There is no room for it.”