Conor Benn, the British boxer and son of former two-weight world champion Nigel Benn, could be facing a two-year suspension after being charged under article 2.2 of the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) rules for ‘use’ of a banned substance, clomifene. The positive test was taken ahead of his October 2022 bout with Chris Eubank Jr, which went ahead and saw Benn emerge victorious. The 26-year-old has maintained his innocence since the news broke and was recently cleared by the World Boxing Council (WBC) after submitting a 270-page document in his defense.
However, the British Boxing Board of Control’s (BBBofC) official anti-doping partner UKAD has charged him, leading to a provisional suspension ahead of a full investigation. UKAD has stated that 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.”
If Benn is found guilty, he is likely to receive a similar ban to that of fellow British boxer Amir Khan, who has been suspended after testing positive for the banned substance ostarine after his loss to Kell Brook in February 2022. UKAD has since ruled out “deliberate or reckless conduct” in Khan’s case, as the dose was too small to give any performance advantage. However, they also rejected his defense that it was transmitted by a tainted supplement or human contact.
Benn issued a statement in response to the reports, stating that he was in touch with UKAD and couldn’t comment any further. He also stated that he was free to fight outside of the UK.
As with any sport, doping is a serious issue in boxing, and any athlete found to have broken the rules by taking banned substances can expect to face severe sanctions. The UKAD’s decision to provisionally suspend Benn shows that they are serious about maintaining the integrity of the sport and ensuring that athletes compete on a level playing field.
Fans will have to wait to see how this case unfolds and whether Benn will be found guilty or innocent. For now, the important thing is that the sporting authorities take a strong stance against cheating and work to protect the integrity of boxing for everyone involved.