Conor Benn could still face a two-year ban for positive drug tests under UK anti-doping rules

REVEALED: Conor Benn could still face a two-year ban for his positive drug tests under UK anti-doping rules despite being cleared of doping by the WBC due to ‘highly elevated egg consumption’

  • Conor Benn didn’t reveal he eats eggs when discussing his diet last year
  • Benn reinstated in WBC rankings due to ‘high egg consumption’
  • However, in an interview with GQ Magazine, he did not say that he eats eggs.

Conor Benn could still face a suspension of up to two years for his positive drug tests despite being allowed to return to the World Boxing Council rankings this week.

The WBC’s verdict, which accepted Benn’s explanation that his failed tests for clomiphene may have been caused by consuming a large number of eggs, was met with disbelief by many within the sport.

But Sportsmail understands that UK Anti-Doping and the British Boxing Board of Control continue to investigate and, crucially, UKAD has room to further explore the matter under its rules.

While the two positives in July and September last year were carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, the complex case remains under the UKAD’s jurisdiction. Under UKAD rules there are 11 areas in which an athlete can commit an anti-doping violation and it is understood that Benn’s case may fall under Article 2.2. prohibited substance or prohibited method’.

In this scenario, its rules point to strict liability, stating: ‘It is every athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters their body… Thus, it is not necessary to demonstrate intent, guilt, negligence or knowing use on the part of the athlete to establish an anti-doping rule violation.’

Conor Benn could still face a suspension of up to two years for his positive drug tests.

The WBC found that high egg consumption could have led to its first failed drug test

Crucially, the WBC applied a different standard regarding the question of intent, writing in its controversial statement on Wednesday that “there was no conclusive evidence that Mr. Benn engaged in intentional or conscious ingestion of clomiphene’.

Anti-doping sources say that while the UKAD need not prove intent, they would possibly bear the burden of disproving that the eggs could have caused Benn to test positive. To that end, it will be noted that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that clomiphene is not authorized for use in animals in the UK.

If UKAD finally charges Benn and finds him guilty, the first offense ban would be up to two years.

It is understood that they would be unable to pursue a violation based on the ‘Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample’, as VADA is not a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency but was previously told Sportsmail that VADA would not face any barriers to delivering its findings and analyses.

British Boxing Board of Control Secretary General Robert Smith had earlier pointed to the lack of cooperation from Benn’s team in their efforts to secure the evidence they shared with the WBC investigation, whose remit was limited only to knowing whether the 26-year-old could return to their rankings.

In an interview last April, Benn did not reveal that he eats eggs when discussing his diet.

In an interview last April, Benn did not reveal that he eats eggs when discussing his diet.

In response to the WBC’s announcement on Wednesday, Smith wrote: ‘The UK Anti-Doping Rules make it clear what conduct constitutes an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as defined in those rules (and the World Anti-Doping Code) and specifically sets out the circumstances in which such violations may be committed under strict liability.’

Interestingly, an interview with Benn from the April issue of GQ has been circulating on social media since the WBC verdict, in which he went into great detail about his diet with only a passing reference to eggs.

As he subsequently prepared to fight Chris Eubank Jr at a heavier weight, he claimed in interviews after we broke the news of his positive test that he was eating 34 eggs a week.

There was no response from Benn’s team when asked by Sportsmail on Thursday if they would cooperate with the UKAD investigation.

Benn has long insisted he is innocent.

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