Super middleweight world title contender Avni Yildirim, who is the mandatory challenger to WBC titlist David Benavidez, may have just thrown away an opportunity of a lifetime.
According to the WBC, Yildirim (21-2, 12 KO’s), 28, of Turkey, has tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid methylclostebol.
Boxing Scene.com’s Jake Donovan was first to report the story.
Methylclostebol is a synthetic, orally-ingested substance that has long been on the prohibited lists of both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and VADA.
According to a statement released by the WBC, Yildirim was tested on Sept. 13 by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), and results of the test were sent to the WBC a week ago.
“Yildirim and his team voluntarily agreed to hold an immediate evaluation meeting with an expert scientist approved by the WBC to conduct an in-depth analysis of the situation at hand. The WBC considers those steps necessary to achieve a conclusion of the matter consistent with the WBC Rules and Regulations and with the WBC CBP Protocol,” the WBC said in a statement.
Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO’s), a Phoenix, Arizona native, who reclaimed the super middleweight title with a ninth-round knockout of former world champion Anthony Dirrell on Sept. 28, was stripped of his belt a year ago after he tested positive for cocaine.
Yildirim fought Dirrell for the vacant title this past February, with Dirrell earning a 10th-round technical decision victory after an accidental head-butt opened up a nasty cut over his left eye.
Yildirim and his team filed an official protest, to which the WBC honored their request by ordering the winner of Dirrell-Benavidez to face him.
However, depending on the results of the investigation, Yildirim’s request could be voided.