Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
Dillian Whyte has released a statement insisting he is innocent after news broke of an ‘adverse analytical finding’ in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug test earlier today.
Matchroom Boxing confirmed they had received notification from VADA in a statement earlier today and took the decision to cancel the fight which was set to take place next Saturday.
The statement reads in full: “I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me.
“I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it. I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.
“I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or trial by media.
“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.
“This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time I will again prove that I am completely innocent.
“In the meantime all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”
The result marks the third time an adverse finding has arose in Whyte’s professional career.
After serving a two-year suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine in 2012, the banned substance dianabol was also found in Whyte’s system during the build-up to his 2019 victory over Oscar Rivas.
Whyte was later cleared of any wrongdoing by UK Anti-Doping in relation to the latter and has since gone on to challenge for the WBC heavyweight title, losing inside six rounds to Tyson Fury in April last year.
It is not yet clear whether the event will still take place next week – though promoter Eddie Hearn is searching for a replacement opponent to face Joshua to keep the show alive.