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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Duncan Bech

Conor Benn cleared by Ukad after investigation into failed drugs tests

PA Wire

Conor Benn has been cleared by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) after failing two drug tests in 2022.

Benn’s planned fight with Chris Eubank Jr collapsed in October, just days before it was due to take place, upon the revelation that Benn had returned adverse findings in the lead-up to the bout. Benn, 26, has continually maintained his innocence in the months since, while the British Boxing Board of Control stripped the welterweight of his licence.

Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn, meanwhile, expressed his belief that his fighter was innocent. And Ukad cleared Benn on Friday (28 July), the boxer and Hearn announced, meaning the “Destroyer” is free to box in the UK again.

Ukad told reporters: “Ukad notes that Mr Benn has made further public comments today regarding proceedings before the independent National Anti-Doping Panel. Ukad can confirm Mr Benn is no longer provisionally suspended under the Ukad Rules [...] Ukad is not able to make any further public disclosures in accordance with the Ukad Rules at this time.”

Benn, son of British boxing icon Nigel Benn, wrote on Instagram: “Today marks the end of a grueling 10-month process, during which the WBC had already decided that I was innocent of any wrongdoing.

“After a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Panel and Ukad, I have now been vindicated for the second time. Hopefully the public and various members of the media can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through.

“The Ukad process has now formally ended, and I remain free to fight. Naturally I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all. As you can imagine the last 10 months have weighed heavily on me, and I am anxious that if this happened to me, it could potentially happen to any honest, dedicated and clean athlete like me.

“I would like to thank my fans that have kept faith when many have turned against me, as well as my team, Matchroom, my friends and family, sponsors and also my legal team – all of whom have shared a belief in me and a commitment to ensuring the correct result being obtained and justice being achieved.

“Only with the strength of all this support have I been able to continue during this challenging time. I now intend to put this matter behind me and look forward, which begins with fighting as soon as possible so I can remind everyone who I am.”

Benn (left) with promoter Eddie Hearn in April 2022
— (Getty Images)

Matchroom chief Hearn, speaking on the company’s YouTube channel, said: “This is a massive moment for him, for us. It’s been a brutal, painful year of work and belief and decisions to back an individual that we believed in. I can’t wait to see him fight.

“The nightmare, the chapter, is over. He can get back to his career. I hope everybody now can support the fact that he’s gone through absolutely every process that was ever asked of him. He’s done it all, it’s over. [It’s] a sweet day. I’m not gonna stand up here, jump around and celebrate – not on camera, anyway – because it’s been really tough, especially for Conor.

“I’m expecting to see an absolutely vicious performance from a guy who has got so much pent-up aggression and determination, who is ready to go in and destroy anyone in front of him.”

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