France’s Olympic gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Games has seen his suspension upheld for failing to notify authorities of his whereabouts for random drug-testing.
Undefeated Tony Yoka, who controversially out-pointed Great Britain’s Joe Joyce two years ago, has gone 5-0 in his first twelve months as a pro but now faces a year out of action.
The 26 year-old was initially given a suspended two-year sentence and ordered to serve one year, although was allowed to compete during his appeal and duly dispatched of Dave Allen in his last contest.
Hoping to continue his career and reinforce the suspended part of his term, Yoka was denied by a judge and will not be able to fight again until the summer of 2019.
“The casualness of the behaviour of Mr Yoka, who as an experienced sportsman is particularly informed of the importance of doping tests couldn’t be unaware from the first warning of the consequences of his carelessness, doesn’t allow us to seriously consider that the one-year suspension would be disproportionate,” said the judge at Yoka’s hearing.
The Paris-born technician has suffered a damaged reputation as a result, even worse than that though, Yoka’s plans to become a world champion by 2020 have been pushed back.
Yoka is hopeful of landing a lucrative rematch with Joyce, potentially in the United States once either claim a version of the top division crown and may well be beaten to the punch by ‘The Juggernaut’.
Joyce recently linked up with Al Haymon stateside and is on the fast-track to challenging for a world title after claiming the Commonwealth belt in just his fourth fight.
For Yoka, the immediate future is clear and is a warning to other boxers who do not make their location clear to the testing organizations in the future.