Tony Yoka has been given a one-year suspension for missing at least a trio of anti-doping tests, according to reports in his native France.
The 2016 Olympic champion, who defeated Joe Joyce in the final of a hotly-debated outcome, could be banned for a further year upon the completion of an investigation.
Turning pro last June, Yoka has been tipped as a future world champion and was looking for a fourth victory in the paid ranks next month.
According to a report in L’Equipe, Yoka failed to give a sample prior to his December clash with Ali Baghouz and has also failed to provide on two or three other occasions.
There’s no suggestion Yoka is doping at this point, with the 12 month ban solely due to his non-compliance of the procedures.
On the site of AFLD (French anti-doping) website, it is confirmed that missing three tests results the punishment dished out to Yoka.
“If the Athlete commits three breaches of any kind during a period of twelve consecutive months, the AFLD shall forward to the competent Federation a statement of offense causing the person concerned to be suspended for a period of between one year (two years, if found to be doping)
“In accordance with the standard disciplinary regulation approved by the sports federations, relating to the fight against human doping (Article R. 232-86 of the Sports Code).
“The regulation in force does not provide for a stay, except in a particular case, that of substantial assistance when an athlete gives information on other cases of doping.
“In this case alone, it allows for a portion of the sentence to be suspended.”
Yoka’s lawyer, Arnaud Pericard told L’Equipe the fighter had indeed been punished.
“Tony has sinned for lack of rigor, he assumes and since he has organized much better. It is a problem of form and procedure more than of substance.
“At no time did Tony Yoka attempt to conceal any doping situation, which is what the Federation’s Anti-Doping Commission recognized and notified,” he said.
The 25 year-old’s next bout scheduled for April 7 against Cyril Leonet is set to be cancelled if the term is not suspended by the authorities in due course.
Recently, Yoka had been part of Joseph Parker’s training camp for the New Zealander’s unification with Anthony Joshua on March 31.