Conor Benn returns ‘adverse’ drug test result but Chris Eubank Jr fight set to go ahead

Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn is set to go ahead on Saturday (8 October) despite the latter returning an ‘adverse’ drug test result.

On Wednesday (5 October), a joint-statement from promotions Matchroom Boxing and Wasserman declared that Benn, 26, had tested positive for ‘trace amounts of a fertility drug’, which was confirmed to be clomifene.

The statement added, however, that Benn and Eubank Jr, 33, ‘wish to proceed’ with Saturday’s catchweight main event at London’s O2 Arena, although the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has said the fight is ‘prohibited’.

“We have been made aware that a random anti-doping test for Conor Benn conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association returned an adverse analytical finding for trace amounts of a fertility drug,” the promoters’ statement began.

“The B sample has yet to be tested, meaning that no rule violation has been confirmed. Indeed, Mr Benn has not been charged with any rule violation, he is not suspended, and he remains free to fight.

“Mr Benn has since passed a doping control test conducted by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), the anti-doping authority to which the British Board of Boxing Control has delegated its doping control testing for the bout. Mr Benn has passed all doping control tests conducted by UKAD.

“Both fighters have taken medical and legal advice, are aware of all relevant information, and wish to proceed with the bout this Saturday.”

Benn and Eubank Jr are scheduled to face each other in a 157lbs catchweight contest, which will see the latter cut three pounds more than usual while Benn moves up two weight classes.

Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Benn at a pre-fight face off (Getty Images)
Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Benn at a pre-fight face off (Getty Images)

Wasserman’s Kalle Sauerland, who represents Eubank Jr, told Talksport on Wednesday: “The instant reaction is, ‘The fight is off...’ [but] the fight on Saturday is on.

“You have to look into what it is; a banned substance is a banned substance, end of. The scenario around it... how it could come to that, why are the other tests not positive? There’s been a big mistake here.

“Has it been done as a PED [performance-enhancing drug]? No – that’s the medical opinions we have had.”

The BBBofC, however, said the fight is “prohibited as it is not in the interests of boxing”.

Benn and Eubank Jr’s fathers engaged in one of the most storied rivalries in British boxing history, with Chris Eubank stopping Benn in the ninth round of their first clash, in 1990, before they fought to a split draw in 1993 – almost 29 years to the day before this Saturday’s scheduled bout.