Conor Benn suspension lifted following investigation into failed drugs tests

Conor Benn’s suspension imposed for failing two drugs tests in the build-up to his cancelled fight with Chris Eubank Jr has been lifted.

UK Anti-Doping confirmed the news first revealed by Benn and his promoters Matchroom Boxing on Friday afternoon, but added that it has 21 days to appeal the verdict of the National Anti-Doping Panel, an independent tribunal.

Benn was formally charged by UKAD in April after twice testing positive for the female fertility drug clomifene in the build-up to October’s catchweight showdown with British rival Eubank Jr.

“UKAD carefully reviews all decisions in its cases before deciding whether to exercise its right of appeal,” UKAD said in a statement, before declining to comment further on the case.

Benn, son of boxing great Nigel Benn, had claimed on social media that he had been exonerated only for UKAD’s statement to indicate his case is not yet closed as the drugs agency considers whether to appeal.

“Today marks the end of a gruelling 10-month process, during which the WBC had already decided I was innocent of any wrongdoing,” Benn said on Twitter.

“After a hearing with the National-Doping Agency Panel and UKAD, I have now been vindicated for the second time.

“Hopefully, the public and various members of the media can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through.

Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Conor Benn were due to clash in October

Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Conor Benn were due to clash in October (Steve Paston/PA)

“The UKAD process has now formally ended and I remain free to fight.”

If Benn is cleared, he will reapply for the British Boxing Board of Control licence that was relinquished during his dispute with the governing body.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he is already planning a comeback fight for the 26-year-old Londoner in September ahead of a clash with a high-profile opponent in December.

Benn had been banned from competing in the UK until his case had been heard by UKAD, although he was free to fight overseas.

The lucrative showdown with Eubank Jr is likely to be revived and having protested his innocence from the outset, Benn revealed his joy at what he considers to be the end of the process.

“Naturally, I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all,” he said.

“As you can imagine the last 10 months have weighed heavily on me and I am anxious that if this happened to me, it could potentially happen to any honest, dedicated and clean athlete like me.

“I would like to thank my fans that have kept the faith when many have turned against me, as well as my team, Matchroom, my friends and family, sponsors and also my legal team, all of whom have shared a belief in me and a commitment to ensure the correct result being obtained and justice being services.

“Only with the strength of all this support have I been able to continue during this challenging time.

“I now intend to put this matter behind me and look forward. Which begins with fighting as soon as possible so I can remind everyone who I am.”

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