Conor Benn could be slapped with a two-year ban from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after being charged over his failed drugs tests.
Benn, 26, returned two positive tests for the female fertility drug clomifene - which is commonly used to boost testosterone levels in men - before his ill-fated fight against fellow son-of-a-legend Chris Eubank Jr last October. 'The Destroyer' maintained his innocence and appealed the decision, with the World Boxing Council (WBC) going on to clear him of any international doping violation after he filed a 270-page document to the council.
But UKAD has now formally charged Benn over two failed tests that were taken last July and September, and he could be hit with a suspension if found guilty. A statement from the organisation read: "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.
"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."
The tests Benn failed before his fight against Eubank Jr was officially cancelled on October 6 were carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), but he passed all of the tests which were taken by UKAD. Benn issued a statement after UKAD's announcement, and played down the development.
"I am involved in a confidential procedure and I have respected my confidentiality obligations," he wrote on Twitter. "Yet each day brings a new leak and a misrepresentation of what’s actually happening. There is no news. Being “charged” is a start of a process by which an athlete has to defend themselves. I have not been sanctioned by anyone and 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."
The 26-year-old still remains eligible to fight overseas and has recently been linked to a mega-fight against former eight-weight world champion legend Manny Pacquiao, with the Filipino's advisor Sean Gibbons confirming reports of the fight. "Will he [Pacquiao] fight this year? You know what, Senator Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Conor Benn," Gibbons told Planet Sport.