10
Apr
2020

UKAD CEO confuses with ‘apples/pears’ spiel in Dillian Whyte and Liam Cameron cases

Phil Jay 18/01/2020
Dillian Whyte Liam Cameron

📸 Mark Robinson

CEO of the UK Anti-Doping Agency, Nicole Sapstead has addressed concern over a recent punishment handed out to Liam Cameron after UKAD cleared Dillian Whyte.

Cameron was banned for four years for a minute trace of cocaine, whilst Whyte was given a reprieve for a trace amount of steroids.

Whyte is free to continue his career after being cleared, whilst Cameron was handed the harshest term possible in a four-year ban.

In a heart-breaking statement around Christmas time, Cameron retired at the age of 29.

Cameron denied any failings to UKAD and subsequently decided against taking a deal to admit his guilt.

“I tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a dose of a tenth of a recreational line,” he explained.

“UKAD offered me 18 months to go guilty but I couldn’t admit to something I haven’t done. So I was told I am banned for four years.

“I will be retiring from boxing.

‘Writing this is killing me, my dream I have worked for from eight years has been shattered.”

A lot has been said about Whyte and Cameron due to the pair being of far different sides of the tracks, boxing-wise.

‘The Bodysnatcher’ is a heavyweight Pay-Per-View star in the UK and did admit his wrongdoings to UKAD.

Cameron, on the other hand, is lesser down the food chain and pleaded his innocence. Therefore, he was made an example of.

Asked directly about the contrasting sentences, the UKAD chief compared the instances to ‘apples and pears’ in a recent interview.

“I understand that to the public, it might look strange, but we do treat each case as a case,” Sapstead told Neil Barker for sntv. “We have to hear the arguments that are presented and the merits of the case and each case will turn on its own facts.

“So it is wrong and illogical to compare apples (say, the Whyte case) with pears (say, the Cameron case). Unfortunately, we very rarely get apples you can compare with apples.

“It’s a very complex world that we operate in. The rules are complex. Navigating through any litigation is complex.”

DENIAL

Continuing on the potential for power and money contributing towards the decisions against certain higher-profile athletes, Sapstead flatly denied any suggestion.

“Our actions are never determined by the wealth or otherwise of the individual we are prosecuting. We do not base our decisions on the concern of how much a case is going to cost.

“Of course, that’s in our thinking (the cost) and at the front of our minds, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to roll over or cut a deal with somebody just because they’ve got more money than the organization. Or they are threatening to sue us.


“We will always rigorously pursue any anti-doping violation against any individual whatever their monetary worth.

“If it comes to escalating costs, then we will engage with our sponsor at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. We would explain the risk we are facing.”

Whyte is rumored for a massive battle with Alexander Povetkin on PPV this spring. Cameron will never fight again and has labeled UKAD ‘a**holes’.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay