By PA Sport Staff
Conor Benn has vowed to “return with a vengeance” after the World Boxing Council cleared him of an intentional doping offense.
On Wednesday, the WBC ruled a “highly elevated consumption of eggs” was considered a “reasonable explanation” for Benn’s adverse finding which saw his catchweight bout with Chris Eubank Jr, scheduled for October 2022, cancelled.
Trace amounts of a fertility drug, clomiphene – which is known to elevate testosterone levels in men – were found in Benn’s urine.
The tests were taken by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) during July and September. Subsequently, Benn, the 26-year-old son of former super-middleweight world champion Nigel Benn, relinquished his licence with the British Boxing Board of Control.
Benn, who always denied the intentional or knowingly ingestion of any banned substances, was happy to see his name cleared, but maintained there were elements of the statement from the sanctioning body he disagreed with.
Despite the ruling from the WBC, Benn’s case continues to be investigated by UK Anti-Doping and the British Boxing Board of Control.
WBC RULING REGARDING CONOR BENN https://t.co/1Tc1mjXUze pic.twitter.com/r7u0EUkWDn
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) February 22, 2023
Until that process is concluded, Benn would not be licensed to box in the UK, but could fight in another country under a different jurisdiction.
“I’m pleased that the WBC have finally cleared my name, with no sanction or ban of any kind and a reinstatement in the world rankings. I can now put this behind me and resume my career immediately,” Benn said in his Instagram story.
“While I welcome the ultimate outcome, I do not agree with everything said in the WBC’s statement. That’s something I am discussing further in my legal team.
“There will be additional comment in due course, but for the time being I just want to focus on getting my career back on track after being effectively prevented from fighting for many months.
“I want to thank my supporters for their patience and perseverance and am looking forward to my return with a vengeance.”
Benn is to be subject to regular anti-doping testing to monitor the effect of the WBC’s programme geared to avoid the risk of a future adverse finding caused by nutritional factors.
Following the announcement from the WBC, the BBBoC issued a statement clarifying the position over Benn’s case, stressing the fighter’s camp had yet to come forward with any evidence.
— BBBofC (@BBBofCuk) February 22, 2023
“For clarity, while the BBBoC wishes to make clear that it respects the WBC, the WBC is a sanctioning body and not a governing body,” the statement read.
“The BBBoC was the governing body with whom Benn was licensed at the material time, and as such any alleged anti-doping violation shall be dealt with in accordance with its rules and regulations.
“The BBBoC has adopted the UK Anti-Doping Rules published by UK Anti-Doping, and those formed part of the rules to which Benn was bound. As such, the decision of the WBC does not affect the ongoing implementation of the BBBoC’s rules (and those of UKAD).”