Conor Benn Suspended By UKAD – ‘Is A Lifetime Ban Possible?’

May 11, 2024
1 week
Conor Benn Suspended By UKAD - 'Is A Lifetime Ban Possible?'

Conor Benn has now been ‘suspended’ by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD).

The news comes after UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) won their appeal to remove the National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADP) decision to lift Benn’s suspension. The boxer failed two VADA tests in 2022 for Clomiphene. The substance is known for being a masking agent, designed to conceal the use of PEDs. The failed test meant Benn was prevented from facing Chris Eubank Jr. The (BBBoC) refused to sanction the fight. Benn was suspended by UKAD and cleared by the Anti-Doping Panel. That allowed him to box outside the UK, beating Rodolfo Orozco and Peter Dobson in the US. 

During this period, Hearn was trying to get Benn lucrative fights overseas. Bouts with Manny Pacquaio and Gervonta Davis were mentioned. Benn faced off with Pacman in Saudi Arabia, with Hearn revealing talks had begun. An offer was also sent to Gervonta Davis’ team. However, the fight never happened, as Davis moved on to face Frank Martin. The successful appeal by UKAD and the BBBoC means that Benn will now proceed under their rules. If he is found guilty, he could face a hefty ban. 

UKAD On Benn

“UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) can today confirm that as of 7 May 2024, Mr Benn is once again subject to a provisional suspension in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules. 

“Whilst provisionally suspended, Mr Benn is prohibited from participating in any capacity (or assisting another Athlete in any capacity) in a Competition, Event or activity that is organised, convened, authorised or recognised by the British Boxing Board of Control or any other World Anti-Doping Code-compliant sport.

“UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) were successful in their respective appeals of a decision handed down by a tribunal of the independent National Anti-Doping Panel in July 2023. Mr Benn’s provisional suspension was reimposed by the appeal tribunal following the successful appeals.

“Mr Benn’s case remains before the independent National Anti-Doping Panel and the case will now progress in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules. UKAD is not able to make any further public disclosures at this time,” UKAD statement

Implications

This is a critical period in boxing if it wants to take a hard line against PEDs. Ryan Garcia could also face a similar problem after he failed two VADA tests for Ostarine. The substance is known for increasing stamina, muscle and burning fat. Unlike the Benn situation, Garcia’s substance came back positive after the Devin Haney fight.

Haney suffered extensive damage, getting dropped three times on his way to a majority decision loss. If it is proven that Garcia took PEDs intentionally, he could also face a big ban. The boxing authorities must get this decision right for the integrity of the sport. Failure to tackle it will only drive away potential new fans. At a time when the UFC continues to increase in popularity, boxing must keep up. 

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