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Eddie Hearn’s boxing playing cards included at the very least one fighter who failed a medicine check or been sanctioned

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Skilled boxing’s tolerance of doping is underneath the highlight within the wake of the controversy surrounding Conor Benn’s failed medicine check.

Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal 30 per cent of all foremost occasion fights staged by Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn this 12 months concerned at the very least one fighter who has failed a doping check or been sanctioned for an anti-doping offence.

In 2019, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia, promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, no fewer than 5 boxers had examined optimistic for prohibited medicine throughout their careers.

That very same 12 months Hearn stated he would by no means need to put considered one of his fighters in a hoop towards a doped opponent, after the American fighter Jarrell Miller examined optimistic for 3 totally different substances earlier than his cancelled heavyweight title battle towards Joshua.

Whereas the main focus has been on Hearn due to current occasions, these statistics are arguably extra damning for the boxing business as a complete. Because the variety of doping exams has elevated within the sport lately, which Hearn has been in favour of, increasingly fighters have been caught. Nonetheless, there nonetheless stays a plethora of promoters all over the world prepared to advertise their subsequent battle.

British boxing was plunged into chaos on Wednesday after the Every day Mail revealed that Benn had failed a medicine check forward of his battle with Chris Eubank Jnr, with a optimistic for clomifene, a medicine primarily used to deal with ladies’s infertility. Clomifene may also elevate testosterone ranges in males.

Nearly a 3rd of all foremost occasion fights staged by Eddie Hearn concerned at the very least one fighter who has failed a doping check

The battle, which ought to have taken place final night time in London, was ‘postponed’ after the British Boxing Board of Management (BBBofC), which licenses skilled boxers on this nation, prohibited it as a result of it was ‘not within the pursuits of boxing’.

This was regardless of Hearn’s efforts to proceed with the battle, together with a possible authorized bid to pressure the BBBofC to sanction it.

Hearn quickly got here underneath sharp criticism after outdated footage emerged of him criticising the BBBofC for sanctioning Billy Joe Saunders to battle Demetrius Andrade in 2018. Saunders had failed a drug check within the lead-up to the bout, and the battle appeared set to go forward earlier than it was finally cancelled.

British boxer Conor Benn (pictured) failed a drugs test ahead of his fight with Chris Eubank Jnr

British boxer Conor Benn (pictured) failed a medicine check forward of his battle with Chris Eubank Jnr

Benn could be banned for up four years with anti-doping chiefs set to formally investigate

 Benn could possibly be banned for up 4 years with anti-doping chiefs set to formally examine

‘What’s the level in signing up for drug testing if, while you fail, everybody simply goes, “Oh don’t fear about it, simply let him battle”, you understand?’ Hearn stated on the time. ‘You possibly can’t ignore it, in any other case the game’s a mockery.’

The Mail on Sunday has discovered that of 131 foremost occasion fights Hearn and Matchroom have promoted since 2019, 21 (16 per cent) included fighters who had failed a doping check or dedicated a doping infraction in some unspecified time in the future of their profession previous to the battle.

In 2022 that quantity is as excessive as 30 per cent of Matchroom foremost occasion fights. In 2021, two bouts, Canelo Alvarez v Avni Yildirim and Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin, concerned 4 boxers who had beforehand failed medicine exams.

Hearn and Matchroom signify each Alvarez and Whyte, however they don’t signify all fighters on playing cards they promote. When Joshua beat Ruiz in 2019, no fewer than 5 fighters had examined optimistic for prohibited medicine within the months and years prior.

After Joshua’s 2019 opponent Miller examined optimistic for 3 totally different medicine, Hearn stated: ‘This isn’t tennis. This can be a sport the place the goal is to go in and knock your opponent out so if you’re taking one thing that’s going to extend your endurance, your power or provide you with an edge bodily in a sport like this, I’ll by no means need to put my fighter able like that.’

When The Mail on Sunday requested Matchroom in the event that they took any particular precautions to make sure fighters will not be partaking in doping, the promotional firm was unavailable for remark. 

A number of of the fighters who’ve competed in Matchroom foremost occasions since 2019 had been cleared of any intent to cheat and allowed to proceed competing with out punishment. Doping instances are in the end handled much less rigorously in boxing in comparison with different sports activities.

When a boxer is discharged of doping offences, or cleared of intent, there are hardly ever accompanying reasoned selections explaining why. It’s because boxing commissions will not be signatories to the World Anti-Doping Company (WADA) code, the core doc that harmonises anti-doping guidelines and rules in international sport.

(stock pic) Unlike tennis and athletics, boxing has no unifying international body

(inventory pic) In contrast to tennis and athletics, boxing has no unifying worldwide physique

In contrast to tennis or athletics, there is no such thing as a unifying worldwide physique. As a substitute, it’s the obligation of particular person commissions to sanction fighters. A fighter could be banned by one fee, however nonetheless be sanctioned to compete by one other.

Benn failed a doping check that was a part of an extra drug testing programme run by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Company (VADA), by which each fighters had enrolled. The BBBofC solely suspends a boxer in the event that they fail a UK Anti-Doping check. Hearn argued that since Benn was not suspended, the battle may go on.

Hearn and Matchroom finally postponed, regardless of the actual fact they believed BBBofC’s choice to not sanction the battle was ‘procedurally flawed and with out due course of’. Now Benn, who denies he has taken medicine, is going through an investigation and potential ban by UKAD.

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