British heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte is facing a battle to retain his position in the division, following reports that the Brixton fighter failed a test for a banned substance prior to his victory over, Oscar Rivas.
The Londoner’s unanimous decision win over the highly regarded Colombian saw him capture the ‘interim’ WBC heavyweight title and become mandatory challenger to champion, Deontay Wilder.
However, as the dust settled on the performance, celebrations were muted with BoxingScene’s Thomas Hauser reporting Whyte’s alleged doping failure. The heavyweight’s promoter Eddie Hearn since confirmed that Whyte underwent a hearing on the morning of the fight and was cleared to compete at the 02 Arena on Saturday the 20th of July.
Whyte, who is in the World Boxing Council Clean Boxing Program which is implemented by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), reportedly failed a test administered by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), on July 17th, just three days before his contest.
Whyte responded to the reports, breaking his silence on Twitter by stating: “I am so disappointed with the rubbish that has been said about me over the last few days. I have lawyers dealing with it and I have been told that I can’t talk about it for good legal reasons. I was cleared to fight and I won that fight fair and square.”
Meanwhile in an interview with IFLTV, promoter Hearn urged fans to wait for the facts to make a judgement on the situation: “Time will tell and that time should be able to give us the judgement. Give Dillian Whyte his time to address the situation, make his statement. Wait for the facts and make a judgement.”
Since the report came to light, much has been made of the Rivas camp not being made aware of the events. Team Rivas member, Russ Anber a member of Rivas’ team, reacted angrily to the news, speaking to the World Boxing News he commented: “We were not notified. Nobody from the Rivas camp was notified that he had failed a drug test.
“The fact the BBBoC saw fit to hold a hearing on this positive test – to me, makes you if not legally, certainly morally obligated to notify the opposing camp.
“The fact that a positive test came up and they see fit to hold a hearing to get Dillian’s side of the story and not notify us?
“I don’t see how anybody cannot perceive that as being so wrong, not only wrong but ultimately dangerous, thank God nothing happened in the ring that night.
“I can’t even believe people can’t see the danger in that. The BBBoC is supposed to be there for the protection of the fighters and the safety of the fighters. And to be fair to both sides.
“That’s their mandate, that’s their role. They are not there just to protect Dillian or the shows it goes on.
“It’s their obligation to warn opposing fighters. As I’m sure Dillian and his camp, Matchroom, everybody else would want to be warned if an opponent of Dillian’s had tested and they didn’t tell them, imagine how he would have felt?”
Following the initial report of Whyte’s failure, BoxingScene, the same source that revealed the story alleged that ‘The Body Snatcher’ had tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone, two metabolites of the banned drug Dianabol.
Dianabol is taken orally and is more commonly associated with bodybuilders as opposed to athletes. Nonetheless, the androgenic and anabolic steroid can be used to boost various aspects of performance, including strengthening the body’s ability to retain nitrogen and increasing recovery rates.
The substance, which is unlikely to remain in the body for a long period of time, allows athletes to feel benefits quicker than most performance enhancers of its kind. It also has numerous downsides, one of which is it can cause the body to retain water.
‘Interim’ WBC champion Whyte, who weighed in at a noticeably heavy 259 pounds for his victory over Rivas, would face an eight year ban from the sport, should he be found guilty of taking a banned substance, as the London heavyweight previously served a two year ban, after he was found to have inadvertently taken banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine.
Furthermore, the incident could have far reaching consequences to British boxing’s place within the global boxing arena, with Rivas’ legendary promoter Bob Arum describing the situation as “an absolute disgrace”.
Speaking to boxing YouTube channel ‘BarbershopConversations’, Arum also emphasised that the incident has led to him having trepidation about bringing Vasyl Lomachenko over to the UK to take on Luke Campbell on August 31st.
“The BBBoC has always had a reputation for integrity and the highest standards, but what they’re doing is absolutely a disgrace to boxing and to British boxing, something is wrong here and they have to be investigating it.”