British boxer, Conor Benn has been removed from the WBC’s world rankings pending the outcome of investigations into his two positive drugs tests.
The 26-year-old, who failed tests for clomifene in July and September that cancelled his fight against Chris Eubank Jr, was rated as fifth in the WBC standings prior to the saga that has threatened to derail his career.
WBC’s president Mauricio Sulaiman has now revealed his ranking is suspended until the conclusion of enquiries, with both the WBC and UK Anti-Doping conducting separate investigations.
Sulaiman said: ‘We are in communication with Conor Benn and his legal team and we will be investigating to the fullest and going through the protocol and process. He will be out of the rankings until we can make a final determination.’
It is understood the WBC investigation, which will have the greater bearing on when Benn can fight abroad, could be resolved before Christmas.
Benn has maintained his innocence, with his team currently examining possible contamination of his samples, as well as querying the procedures around the VADA testing.
According to The Times, Benn’s legal team have been looking into the food he ate in the build-up to his clash with Eubank, and the Brit has claimed he was consuming ‘between 30 and 34 eggs a week’.
They could aim to reference a 2020 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) study that analysed whether ‘poultry and eggs are a source of minute amounts of clomiphene in doping control samples’.
Benn insists the traces of clomifene found in his system were ‘so low there was no performance benefit’.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, too, is convinced that his man is innocent despite admitting to initially doubting him.
‘Yes, I have doubted his innocence,’ Hearn told SecondsOut. ‘But I’ve made the decision – based on the facts, based on talking to him, based on knowing him, based on going through this process – that I believe that he’s innocent.
‘People might criticise me for that, but I’m entitled to my opinion.’