Eddie Hearn insists this weekend’s fight between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr is still going ahead as things stand.
Sportsmail broke the news that Benn had failed a drugs test earlier on Wednesday morning, having tested positive for clomifene, just three days out of the iconic bout at the O2 Arena.
An official joint statement between Wasserman and Matchroom – who are co-promoting the fight, has now been released, however, indicating the match-up is still on.
This weekend’s fight between Conor Benn (right) and Chris Eubank Jr (left) is still going ahead
Sportsmail broke the news on Wednesday morning that Benn has failed a drugs test
WHAT IS CLOMIFENE?
Clomifene is a powerful female fertility medicine which doubles as a performance enhancer.
It stimulates egg production in women, giving those struggling to conceive the best chance of getting pregnant.
Yet, studies suggest that when given to men as a daily pill, clomiphene triggers the production of testosterone.
Testosterone has a key role in tissue healing, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the injury site, aiding repair. However, it also makes it easier to put on muscle and offers a physical boost, hence why it is a banned substance in the world of athletics.
The statement acknowledges that trace amounts of clomifene – a fertility drug – were found in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test.
The substance, which is usually used to treat infertility in women but can increase testosterone in men, is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
However, as no B sample has yet been tested, a violation has not yet been confirmed.
Benn remains free to fight as things stand; there is no suspension in place.
The 26-year-old, they state, has passed all doping control tests by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) – including one taken after the adverse finding.
UKAD is the official anti-doping authority being used by the British Board of Boxing Control for the fight.
The statement reads: ‘We have been made aware that a random anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returned an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug.
‘The B sample has yet to be tested, meaning that no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended and he remains free to fight.
‘Mr Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency, the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its doping control testing for the bout. Mr Benn has passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD.
‘Both fighters have taken medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information, and wish to proceed with the bout this Saturday.’
Wasserman Boxing and matchroom issued a joint statement after Sportsmail’s exclusive
Benn is pictured in the fight’s build-up, which is due to see him move up two weight classes
Kalle Sauerland, who manages Eubank Jr, also appeared on talkSPORT on Wednesday afternoon, revealing the finding was from a drugs test taken in August.
He said: ‘I can tell you that there has been a trace finding of a female fertility drug in a voluntary testing scheme, which is in an addition to UCAD, the British testing scheme. They both wanted to sign up to a voluntary scheme as well.
‘End of August, there was a test taken by Benn in which there was this female fertility drug. The British board follows UCAD and the UCAD tests were presented to us as all negative. That’s the position, from a licensing POV, that we’ve received.’
Sauerland also insisted the fight remains on, after medical experts they consulted insisted Benn will not have gained an advantage. The 45-year-old also revealed both fighters have been spoken to, and both want to continue with the bout.
Eubank Jr’s manager Kalle Sauerland (right) reveals they spoke to medical experts before reaching a decision to continue with the fight
‘We took medical advice,’ he said. ‘It’s a non PED but at the same time it can raise the testosterone level. The experts we consulted didn’t think it was giving him an advantage.
‘We then spoke to the most important person, our fighter. He was happy to continue. we spoke to Benn too, directly. There was a direct conversation between the two, I wasn’t part of that discussion.
‘It seems to be a personal matter from Conor Benn, I cant comment more than that. At the same time, we have to focus on the show on Saturday and cannot be distracted by anything.’
Sauerland concluded: ‘The fight on Saturday is on.’