According to the same UK newspaper that reported the first, Conor Benn may have failed another drug test for the same substance.
British boxing was thrown into chaos and shame after news of Benn’s adverse finding broke during fight week for his clash with Chris Eubank Jr.
Worse than that, organizers of the O2 Arena show in London knew about the failure on September 23 – eleven days before it got leaked to the media.
Conor Benn is accused of failing a second drug test
In a further and even more shocking development, Benn stands accused of failing for banned substance clomifene in an earlier test.
According to boxing promoter Frank Warren, who would only name a ‘British fighter,’ lawyers are pursuing the findings – which Mail then stated was Benn.
The Hall of Famer states that there have since been attempts to bury the release of details.
Warren told Mailsport: “It’s no secret that a British fighter [reportedly Benn says the Mail] has failed a drugs test.
“Lawyers are trying to prevent the WBC and the British Boxing Board of Control from releasing details.”
Asked for what substance, a Mail source responded: “Yes. Earlier this year. [The] same stuff [clomifene].
He added: “A few of us have known about this earlier test for some time.
Conor Benn scandal
“That makes it even more of a scandal. More damaging to our sport than everyone thought.”
US promoter Lou DiBella aired his views and said Benn must face the full force of the sport’s flawed laws.
“This boy has been caught out and has to be banned. No excuses,” sad DiBella.
Another respected name in boxing, Stephen Espinoza of Showtime Boxing, is shocked by the behavior of Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Matchroom Boxing boss tried to keep a catchweight fight with middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. on for October 8 despite knowing about what could now be two separate failures by his boxer.
Chris Jr’s dad Chris Eubank Sr. was fiercely against the fight. It seems now we know why that transpired.
Collusion and risk
Espinoza told FightHub TV: “It’s a lot of collusion by many people who should know better. They don’t have safety at risk.
“They are looking at their own commercial interests ahead of the safety of the fighters.
“I don’t see any other way around it. It’s a complicated situation. If the other fighter knows and wants to go ahead anyway, that’s one hurdle.
“The question is, even when a fighter is willing to put himself at risk, there are situations in which we do not allow fighters to put themselves at risk.
“We say even for their own good, even though a fighter wants to continue with a fight, we stop the fight.
“Even though a fighter says, ‘I will fight somebody that has tested positive,’ I think there are situations where we step in or the government.
“We, as stewards of the sport, whether it’s a regulatory body or a sanctioning body, steps in and says, ‘I don’t care what the fighter says. We are looking long-term.
“This isn’t something that we’re going to allow to happen,’ and I think that’s what people should have done,” concluded Espinoza.
Eddie Hearn backlash
Hearn has faced a backlash from UK fans who previously supported him. However, the YouTube vloggers who get access to Hearn are accused of failing to ask hard questions for fear of repercussions from the Essex man.
Last Saturday was a black eye for British boxing, which may take some time to recover from. Benn is staring the end of his career in the face at 26.
“The Destroyer” could end up being the fall guy following the likes of Jarrell Miller and Jean Pascal, both testing positive for more than move substance before fights.
UK Anti-Doping is known to hand down four-year suspensions. However, for more than one offense in the same year, who knows what sanctions Benn will face?
He does have Hearn in his corner, though. Meaning UKAD will face the full force of the DAZN promoter’s legal powers to allow Benn to continue his career at some point.
Conor Benn’s reputation
The welterweight’s reputation could take a lot longer to recover. His father, Nigel Benn, assured fans he was a clean athlete before news broke of the second failure.
Any chance of rearranging the fight is undoubtedly over once the news is eventually out in the open.
Hearing the news of the failed test, Eubank Jr. told fans: “Conor got caught using an illegal substance, so the fight is off.
“I can’t believe it. I really apologize to the fans and everyone that bought tickets traveled & booked hotels.
“This should not have happened. He has escaped his schooling, for now.”
Talk of taking the main card of Eubank Jr vs Benn, which featured Connor Coyle vs Felix Cash as the co-feature, to the Middle East can firmly get shelved.
Eubank Jr. can now turn his attention to landing a world title shot at 160 pounds. It could also be back to Sky Sports for “NXT GEN” rather than fighting on the DAZN app.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.