Conor Benn issues statement on ‘my truth’ after being cleared of doping
Conor Benn has released a statement detailing what he calls his “truth” on how he first returned an adverse drug test before being later cleared of “intentionally” doping.
Benn and Chris Eubank Jr were set to fight in October last year, before their bout was cancelled on short notice after Benn returned the adverse drug-test findings.
Only last week, the World Boxing Council (WBC) cleared the 26-year-old of “intentionally” doping, giving the “reasonable explanation” that “a highly-elevated consumption of eggs” caused one of his two failed drugs tests. The Briton subsequently failed a second test in September, which is not mentioned by the sanctioning body.
After the WBC’s statement, Benn initially said “while I welcome the ultimate outcome, I do not agree with everything said [by the WBC]. That’s something I am discussing further in my legal team.”
Now he appears to have considered the matter and tweeted a lengthy post to inform his fans of what went on and to explain why he was “always extremely confident” he 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,” he wrote.
“As part of the lengthy investigation, the WBC instructed its own experts to review my supplements and diet and they concluded that egg contamination was the 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 am not a cheat.”
Benn did also air grievances over the WBC’s statement, suggesting his sample “appears to have come back clear the first three times it was tested.” He then says it was retested “without explanation” at which point the trace positives were shown.
The lab associated with the testing “could lose its accreditation”, he continued, while Benn himself requested the B samples tested as early as possible. That process should have seen his chosen scientist in the room when the test results were returned, but was not the case - resulting in Benn claiming he has been advised it constitutes “a major breach of an athlete’s rights” and that the Court of Arbitration for Sport would have dismissed any case against him on that basis alone.
However, Benn concludes his statement by saying he provides details for extra information, rather than reasons of “loophole” innocence, which he says is absolute.
“Now I have to focus on rebuilding my career as this has cost me a great deal of time and money,” the 26-year-old continued, “but I want to make a stand on behalf of athletes who may find themselves in a similarly devastating position.
“Anti-doping protections are obviously extremely important, but so is ensuring people are given due process and presumed innocent until proven guilty. Cheaters should be caught and punished, but peoople like me who prove their innocence should be vindicated and allowed to continue their career.”
Benn continued to criticise the BBBoC for “attacking” him and treating him “with utter contempt”, while being grateful to those who gave “unwavering support”.
He is now expected to resume preparations for his next bout, with Eddie Hearn saying he will definitely fight in the first half of this year.