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Benn provisionally suspended from boxing by UK Anti-Doping

Conor Benn (left) tested positive for a banned substance ahead of his scheduled fight against Chris Eubank Jr in London. ©AFP

London (AFP) - Conor Benn has been provisionally suspended from boxing and charged over the alleged use of a prohibited substance, UK Anti-Doping announced on Thursday.

A catchweight bout against British rival Chris Eubank Jr scheduled for October last year was cancelled after trace amounts of women's fertility drug, clomifene, which elevates testosterone levels in men, were found in Benn's urine.

Benn had denied intentionally or knowingly ingesting any banned substances.

In February, the World Boxing Council cleared Benn of a doping offence after it ruled a "highly elevated consumption of eggs" constituted a "reasonable explanation" for his positive finding.

But this week Boxing News reported that Benn had been provisionally suspended, prompting an angry response from the 26-year-old on Twitter.

UKAD said Thursday that its standard policy was not to publicly disclose that an athlete had been charged or provisionally suspended before a charge had "been resolved".

But a spokesman said there were "limited and rare examples" where it would deviate from that.

"Following reports in the media and comments made by professional boxer Mr Conor Benn on Tuesday April 18, 2023, and in exceptional circumstances, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirms that Mr Benn was notified and provisionally suspended by UKAD on March 15, 2023 in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules," the spokesman said.

"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 also confirmed that it charged Benn on April 3 with a violation for the alleged use of clomifene.

Benn tweeted on Thursday: "Another day, another attempt to create a headline with my name...I have respected my confidentiality obligations.Yet each day brings a new leak and a misrepresentation of what's actually happening.

"I have not been sanctioned by anyone & I'm not banned from boxing.I remain free to fight in events that are not sanctioned by the BBBoC.I don't even have a BBBoC licence."

October's proposed bout was intended to be a continuation of the Benn v Eubank feud in which the rivals' fathers -- Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank -- battled it out in two ferocious contests in the early 1990s.

A catchweight of 157 pounds (71.2 kilograms) was agreed for the fight, meaning Benn would have had to move up two weight divisions and Eubank lose three pounds.

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