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Conor Benn Saga Takes Another Twist, WBC and BBBofC Now Under Question

Conor Benn Saga Takes Another Twist, WBC and BBBofC Now Under Question featured image
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Conor Benn poses with their belt after victory in the WBA Continental Welterweight Title fight between Conor Benn and Chris Algieri at M&S Bank Arena on December 11, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

British Welterweight Conor Benn has lashed out through social media at all the doubters and critics that had accused him of being a drug cheat. With the WBC’s recent announcement that they would clear Benn of any allegations of PED use and place him back in their official rankings, Conor Benn found the time best suited to give his own take on the situation, and though he expressed some relief at being ‘cleared’, he spared no punches in correcting and criticizing both the WBC and BBBofC on how they handled his situation.

The WBC have declared me innocent of being a drug cheat.” Conor Benn’s (21-0, 14 KO’s) Twitter message stated. “The easy decision would have been to accept a six-month ban, save myself a huge legal bill and simply move on, but my reputation and family name is worth more than that.

Having now had a chance to digest, I wanted to set out my position in full and explain why I am innocent.

As you will have gathered from my posts and comments over the past few months, I have always been extremely confident that I would be cleared. This is because all the evidence and information that came to light during our investigation into how this happened proves what I already knew – that I am innocent.

However, because of ongoing legal proceedings I have been repeatedly advised not to say anything. Keeping silent when I have this evidence in my possession and listening to ignorant uninformed commentary was one of the hardest parts of this process.”

Conor Benn might have referred to fierce critics that were opposed to the WBC’s decision, in particular Simon Jordan of TalkSport who relentlessly criticized both Conor Benn and his promoter Eddie Hearn. Other critics professional boxers, trainers, coaches or officials who have expressed doubts of Benn’s innocence from the onset of the entire ordeal surrounding his failed drug test.

Even following the WBC’s statement I could just have said my team and I will not stay silent any longer, and have to let facts be known.

So here’s what I can say. In my defense the WBC and the 270-page report provided to them, at no point did I indicate that I failed any VADA tests because of contaminated eggs. As part of its lengthy investigation, the WBC instructed its own experts to review my supplements and diet, and they concluded that egg contamination was he most likely cause. Those experts have seen this issue arise in elite athletes across other sports, and I have no reason to question their analysis when it concludes I a not a cheat.

However, I feel like the WBC statement did a disservice to my defense which was based upon a comprehensive scientific review of the testing procedures, which set out a number of reasons why we believed the results were completely unreliable, and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that I am innocent.

The report prepared by my science and legal team contained extensive analysis of both tests and concluded that there was clear evidence of fundamental flaws and irregularities. By way of just one example, my sample appears to have come back clear the first three times it was tested. Without explanation, it was retested again after 9 days and only then did it show a trace positive system and I certainly never knowingly ingested it.

I am told it’s something that supposedly stays in the body for months, and yet barely a week after failing a VADA test, I passed a UKAD test. I have never previously failed an kind of anti-doping test, and passed multiple tests with both UKAD and VADA in close proximity to the two tests that returned adverse findings.

This adds further proof to my belief that the findings were testing errors. Even if it was actually in my system, it was at such a low level that it could ever have had an effect, and could never have been consumed with the intention of having an effect.”

Benn also went on to suggest Chris Eubank Jr. (32-3, 23 KO’s), the opponent he was supposed to face before the drug test debacle, was fully aware of these facts by way of his team and the BBBofC (British Boxing Board of Control) sharing information with Eubank and his team.

This is why Eubank Jr. was willing to go ahead with the fight (having takes his own medical advice) as we supplied all the relevant information to them known at the time (and indeed the Board) back in early October 2022.”

Benn left one determined message to those that had supported him, and to those that had criticized him.

For those who gave me their unwavering support, I will be forever grateful. For those who said they would wait for a verdict before deciding I was guilty, I appreciate your patience. As for the BBBofC, they attacked me publicly and privately during the most difficult time in my life, treating me with utter contempt and without any consideration for fair process or my mental state.

I am aware that many people will not even bother to read this statement in full, and continue to make their snap judgements without thinking. There is nothing I can do to change that, but I take comfort in what I know is true and have proven with evidence: I am innocent.

I wouldn’t wish for my worst enemy to experience what me and my family have gone through, but next time I step into the ring I will be mentally tougher than I ever was before.”

With Conor Benn’s statement, there seems to be a clear disconnect between what the WBC has investigated, and what Benn claims to have concluded from his own team. While the WBC suggested Benn had the banned substance clomiphene in his system due to eating too many eggs, Benn has refuted those claims and pinpointed testing errors.

Both the WBC and BBBofC have now drawn questions as to what form of investigations they have committed, with the former offering a completely different explanation of why he was tested negative while the BBBofC has not shared any true or comprehensive details surrounding Benn’s case. As Benn explained, the 270-page report he had shared with both of them has apparently not been heavily analyzed and both organizations made their own conclusions. Though the WBC clearly is in favor of declaring Benn innocent, they also have drawn confusion with their theory that Benn ate too many eggs. And as the WBC and VADA both aren’t organizations that officially investigate and resolve anti-doping matters, any sort of reference towards them clearing Conor Benn should be taken with a pinch of salt, as they don’t have any real authority to do so.

The BBBofC in turn has not mentioned anything surrounding Benn’s case, especially the facts surrounding the amount of clomiphene in the body and the assumption that Benn’s failed tests might have been a result of errors made in the labs that tested it.

According to Benn, the amount of clomiphene in his system was too small to produce an effect that would grant him an advantage. While this may be true, there is also the argument that he was in his post-cycle therapy, which athletes who use PEDs often go through to balance out their hormone system. Clomiphene is often taken to aid in balancing these hormones, specifically to increase testosterone.

It is also important to note that the science team Benn referenced were not a part of the BBBofC’s or UKAD’s own investigation of the matter, and there is little to no way to discern whether Benn’s team had the required expertise or credentials to determine what they claim to be contaminations. In a way, Benn’s team more or less compromises him as they haven’t been reported to be working with either the BBBofC or UKAD.

It will take time and effort for Benn to prove his innocence if he does have all the data necessary to prove it. His evidence is basically uncircumstancial as he investigated himself without cooperating with any official anti-doping organization, or the British Board. With neither the BBBofC or UKAD having commented on the investigation on Benn’s case, it can be assumed that their investigation is still ongoing. As a result, Benn will need to thread carefully in the future to avoid being dragged to court for his own statements which could be interpreted as slander in the eyes of the law.