Jarrell Miller: American's promoter claims criticism over failed drugs test is racially motivated

Sports Staff
The Independent

Jarrell Miller's promoter has claimed her fighter is being "nailed to a cross" for failing a drugs test only "because he is an African-American fighter".

Miller was set to fight Anthony Joshua in New York on June 1 but earlier this week the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed both fighters' camps of an adverse finding in a drug-testing sample, leading to him being denied a licence for the date at Madison Square Garden.

Miller retained the right to request a further sample and to reapply for that licence to challenge Joshua in what will be the champion's US debut.

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However, a second doping violation by Miller meant that fight was off the cards, promoter Eddie Hearn said.

The American apologised profusely for his actions admitting he had "messed up" but promoter Sarah Fina feels he's being overtly targeted because of the colour of his skin.

"Firstly, I do not condone cheating whatsoever," Fina said on social media. "Am I upset and disappointed with Jarrell? Absolutely. What Jarrell has done is wrong 100%.

"But what I won't do is turn my back on him. People make bad choices in life.

"With all of that being said, it is hard for me not to think that he is being nailed to the cross because he is an African-American fighter."

Responding to the initial adverse finding on Tuesday, Miller had written on Instagram that he had "never knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news I was totally shocked".

"My team and I stand for integrity, decency and honesty and together we will stand to fight this with everything we have," he said.

"This was a voluntarily test that I was very happy to do and these results came just one week after another voluntarily test that I had taken which was completely clean."

But on Friday he struck a different tone, telling fans: "I messed up. I made a bad call. (There were) a lot of ways to handle the situation, I handled it wrongly and I'm paying a price for it.

"I messed up a big opportunity and I'm hurting on the inside. My heart is bleeding right now - I hurt my family, my friends, my team, my supporters.

"But, I'm owning up to it. I'm going to deal with it. I'm going to correct it. I'm going to come back better and I'm humbled by the experience."


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