Conor Benn has tested positive for clomifene in a random drug test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), throwing Saturday’s bout with Chris Eubank Jr into doubt.
The substance, which is normally used to treat infertility in women, can also be used to increase testosterone levels in men.
The initial report from The Daily Mail claims that Eubank still wants the fight against the unbeaten welterweight. However, as precedent indicates, the decision will likely be out of his control. When Canelo Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol in February 2018 ahead of his initially scheduled rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin, the bout was postponed despite Golovkin's calls for the fight to go on.
“We took medical advice,” Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promoter told TalkSport. “It can raise testosterone levels but the experts we consulted couldn’t see that it was giving an advantage. So on the basis of that we discussed straight away with the most important person on our side, who is the athlete. He was happy to continue."
“We spoked to Benn as well directly, there was a direct discussion between the two. I am not privileged to that discussion but they had a personal discussion on it.”
Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) has since tested negative in all testing conducted by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).
The matter is currently being investigated, with the show still moving forward -- for now. Fight week activities—including a media workout scheduled for Wednesday afternoon—will go on as scheduled.
"We have been made aware that a random anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returned an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug," Matchroom Boxing said in a press statement. "The B sample has yet to be tested, meaning that no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended, and he remains free to fight.
"Mr. Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency, the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its doping control testing for the bout. Mr Benn has passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD. Both fighters have taken medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information, and wish to proceed with the bout this Saturday."
In January, Benn was removed from the WBC rankings for failing to join their Clean Boxing Program they run with VADA, although he was re-admitted into the rankings after signing up.
Eubank Jr-Benn is contracted to take place at 157 pounds, with Eubank coming down three pounds from his normal fighting weight of 160, while Benn is putting on 10 pounds.