Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and his cousin, Hughie, have issued proceedings in the High Court to contest doping charges brought against them.
The case is being brought by Team Fury, which refutes charges brought by UK Anti-Doping Ltd (UKAD) on 24 June claiming that the boxers’ urine samples had tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid and banned substance.
The charges relate to urine samples taken from both boxers in February 2015, nine months before Tyson, a controversial figure in the sport, beat Wladimir Klitschko in a world heavyweight title fight.
While one sample from each boxer showed positive traces of nandrolone, another did not. A blood sample taken from Tyson at the same time was also negative. Further tests on the boxers returned negative verdicts.
The boxers are claiming damages from the anti-doping watchdog for allegedly breaching its promise not to charge them with offences.
The High Court claim states the boxers ‘suffered loss and damage and have a well-founded apprehension that, unless the defendants are restrained, they will suffer future loss and damage’.
Lewis Power QC from 7BR, who is acting for the Furys alongside Clive Wolman from Thomas More Chambers, said: ‘The two boxers strenuously deny taking any performance-enhancing drugs. However, during the last five weeks, leaks about these charges have appeared in the press and both boxers have been the targets of continual abusive language on Twitter.’
Team Fury’s legal team expects the court to adjudicate on whether UKAD told Team Fury in September that no charges would be brought against the boxers and that the contamination of a dietary supplement was the most likely explanation of the adverse test results.
Further matters expected to be resolved include the reasons for UKAD’s delay in bringing charges, the consequences of that delay, and whether the High Court and/or the National Anti-Doping Panel has jurisdiction over the matter.
Team Fury and Tyson’s promoter, Hennessy Sports have denied the doping claims while UKAD is unable to discuss details of the case until the legal process has been completed.
Tyson Fury is due to fight Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch in October.
Matthew Rogers is a legal reporter at Solicitors Journal