Welterweight contender Conor Benn has revealed he failed two voluntary drug tests ahead of his 157-pound catchweight bout with Chris Eubank Jr earlier this month.
Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) had been due to fight Eubank Jr. in a highly anticipated extension of their fathers' infamous 1990s rivalry, but Benn tested positive by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for banned substance clomifene -- a fertility drug that can boost testosterone levels in men. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) refused to the sanction the fight, leading to its cancellation.
Speaking to the Sun, Benn, who is ESPN's No. 8 boxer at 147 pounds, said he failed two tests -- first on July 25 and again on Sept. 1 -- adding he believes contamination must be the cause.
"I was informed [of the first fail] and I thought, 'It's probably a faulty test,'" Benn said. "I thought, 'We'll get to the bottom of it'. We're still trying to do that. We're making progress.
"But the way it's been blown up has affected me so much. My innocence will be proven. It has to be. I passed all my UKAD tests, which people aren't talking about. I've passed all my tests in and out of camp. I've been a professional for seven years and never failed a test.
"I signed up to VADA in February, so it doesn't make any sense. Why would I take something then?
"Trace amounts were found. The tiniest of traces. The only thing I can think of is contamination. I've not taken anything. I never have done, never would. It's not what I stand for, it's not what my team stands for.
"Why would I take the biggest fight of my life, sign up to VADA and then take this substance? If you Google this substance, it stays in your system for months. Do I look like an idiot?"
The BBBofC announced on Wednesday that "allegations of misconduct" against Benn were upheld at a Friday hearing.
Benn voluntarily relinquished his boxing license on the morning of the hearing, which he was legally represented at.