Conor Benn blames ‘contamination’ for pair of failed drugs tests

Conor Benn has blamed “contamination” for failing two voluntary drug tests ahead of his fight with Chris Eubank Jr.

The bout with his British rival at the O2 earlier this month was called off as a result of the failed tests which showed trace amounts of fertility drug clomiphene, known to elevate 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 has relinquished his licence with the British Boxing Board of Control, is calling foul play.

“Trace amounts were found. The tiniest of traces. The only thing I can think of is contamination,” he told the Sun.

“I’ve not taken anything. I never have done, never would. It’s not what I stand for, it’s not what my team stands for.

“Why would I take the biggest fight of my life, sign up to VADA — voluntary anti-doping — and then take this substance? I signed up to VADA in February, so it doesn’t make any sense. Why would I take something then?

“If you Google this substance, it stays in your system for months. Do I look like an idiot?

“The traces were so low there was no benefit. The science will prove that.

Benn and Chris Eubank Jr were due to fight at London's O2 Arena
Benn and Chris Eubank Jr were due to fight at London’s O2 Arena (Steven Paston/PA)

“I’ve got the best scientists on this. And I am now spending a lot of money trying to prove my innocence here. A lot of money.

“You are talking about me really trying to prove my innocence and get to the bottom of what has happened here.

“I passed all my UKAD tests, which people aren’t talking about. I’ve passed all my tests in and out of camp. I’ve been a professional for seven years and never failed a test.”

Benn, who was due to face a BBofC hearing for a charge of misconduct before he relinquished his license, says he will not box again until he clears his name.

He added: “I wouldn’t want to fight without this being resolved. But should I really care about playing the system? I do, so I wouldn’t.

“But part of me thinks, if people are portraying me as the villain, I might as well be the villain. I haven’t really decided yet.

“I won’t fight until this is resolved, with a foreign licence or not. Whether people believe it or not is not down to me. But there comes a stage where you harden and think, ‘Eff you, then’.

“I don’t want to get to there but I also don’t want to keep getting hurt by this. It’s horrible dealing with this at 26 after working so hard every day.

“I wonder if I can ever fight again right now. But I cannot let them win.

“I could get fit enough, I could just compartmentalise, switch off and focus on the training. But I didn’t want to be the villain because I am innocent.

“It baffles me that people think I have cheated after seeing me on TV for so long, what I am like with my team, family and dad. Am I serial liar?”

The 157lbs catchweight fight at the O2 Arena in London was called off two days before it was due to take place, with the BBBofC declaring it “prohibited”.

Benn and Eubank Jr were scheduled to square off 29 years after a meeting between their fathers Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank Sr.