Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said boxing has a doping problem and called for more random drug tests to tackle the issue, days after Dillian Whyte failed a doping test ahead of their fight.
The two British fighters had been due to meet at London’s O2 Arena in a rematch of their 2015 bout, which Joshua won, but the fight was cancelled after the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) said Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings in a random dope test.
Whyte, who had previously served a two-year ban from 2012 to 2014 after testing positive for a banned stimulant, said he had not taken the reported substance after the latest test. Finn Robert Helenius stepped in at short notice to fight Joshua.
“There’s a doping problem in the sport, definitely,” Joshua told reporters on Wednesday.”… It happens in boxing. It’s not the first (time) and won’t be the last.”
Professional boxing does not adhere to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, and VADA offers regulatory services for certain boxers or promotions.
“But how can people get away with doping if you’re getting random drug tests? I get drug-tested all year round,” the 33-year-old Joshua said.
“Every quarter, I have to submit my whereabouts: where I’m going to be, every day, for (a 60-minute time slot) so they can turn up randomly.
“I’ve submitted that every day of my life since 2011, so I don’t know why I’m under this pressure but all these other boxers aren’t. When you sign up to a promoter they should all have that in the deal.”
Whyte is not an isolated case in recent years as former light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan was banned for two years in April after a prohibited substance was detected in his sample following his fight against Kell Brook.
British welterweight Conor Benn resumed his career last month after being cleared by UK Anti-Doping following a probe into two failed voluntary drug tests last year.
The outcome of the Joshua v Whyte fight could have put either fighter in the frame for a lucrative clash with former WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
“Look where we are now. We lost the fight and nearly lost the card because of this situation,” Joshua said.
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