Conor Benn has suggested that “contamination” could be to blame for failing two voluntary drug tests ahead of his fight with Chris Eubank Jr.
A duel with his British rival at O2 Arena this month was withdrawn as a result of failed tests that showed trace amounts of the drug clomiphene, which helps increase testosterone levels in men.
The tests were taken by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) in July and September, and the 26-year-old, who refused his license with the British Boxing Board, calls foul play.
“Trace amounts were found. The smallest traces. The only thing I can think about is getting infected,” he told the Sun. “I didn’t take anything. I never did, never would. That’s not what I stand for, that’s not what my team stands for.
“Why should I take the biggest fight of my life, sign up for Vada – voluntary anti-doping – and then take this substance? I signed up for “Vada” in February, so there is no point. Why should I take something then?
“If you Google that substance, it stays in your system for months. Do I look like an idiot? The traces were so low that there was no use. Science will prove it. I have the best scientists in this. And I’m spending a lot of money right now trying to prove my innocence here. A lot of money.
“You’re talking about the fact that I’m really trying to prove my innocence and figure out what happened here. I passed all my Ucads [UK Anti-Doping] tests people don’t talk about. I passed all the exams inside and outside the camp. I have been a professional for seven years and have never failed an exam.”
Benn, who was due to face the BBoC over misconduct charges before giving up his licence, says he will not box again until he clears his name.
“Trace amounts were found. The smallest traces. The only thing I can think of is the infection,” Ben continued. “I would not want to go to war unless this is resolved. But should I really care about gaming the system? I do, so I wouldn’t.
“But part of me thinks that if people paint me as a villain, I might as well be a villain. I haven’t really decided yet. I won’t fight until this is resolved, foreign license or not. Whether people believe it or not is not up to me. But there comes a stage when you harden up and think: “Well, then.”
“I don’t want to get there, but I also don’t want to keep getting hurt by it. It’s horrible to deal with this at 26 years old after working so hard every day. I wonder if I can ever fight again right now. But I can’t let them win.
“I could get fit enough, I could just zone out and switch off and focus on training. But I didn’t want to be the villain because I’m innocent. It confuses me that people think I cheated when they’ve seen me on TV for so long with my team, my family and my dad. Am I a serial liar?”
Benn and Eubank Jr. were set to part ways 29 years after their parents, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr., met.