UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has denied Tyson Fury’s claim that it is to blame for the long delay in the case against him and his cousin Hughie Fury.
The heavyweight duo were charged in June 2016 after they tested positive for a banned substance.
Hughie Fury has continued to box and will fight New Zealand’s Joseph Parker for the WBO title in Manchester on Saturday but Tyson Fury has not fought since his famous win over Wladimir Klitschko nearly two years ago.
Having twice postponed rematches with Klitschko last year, the 29-year-old lost his boxing licence last October when he admitted he was using cocaine and struggling with depression.
He had hoped to return to the ring earlier this year but that plan was scuppered when his National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) hearing was adjourned in May.
Since then he has announced his retirement, only to change his mind again, before posting a message on Twitter last week that protested his innocence and accused UKAD of stopping him from earning a living.
“Either ban me or set me free, as I’ve been in limbo for a long time! I want to move on with my life,” wrote Fury. “Clear my name and let me return to my former glory.”
UKAD, however, has issued a strongly-worded statement to explain that it is not responsible for how the “entirely independent” NADP operates.
It said: “From the beginning, UK Anti-Doping has pushed for resolution of the charges as quickly as possible and has invested significant resources in trying to achieve this.
“There are various reasons why, nevertheless, the charges have not yet been heard on the merits. All parties are currently awaiting a ruling from the NADP tribunal on an application made by the athletes to exclude certain evidence.
“Once that ruling is received, the matter will proceed to a hearing on the merits. UK Anti-Doping is currently pushing for dates to be fixed for that hearing to take place as soon as possible.
“It is therefore inaccurate to suggest either that UK Anti-Doping is failing to pursue these charges as quickly as possible, or that Mr Tyson Fury and Mr Hughie Fury are being treated differently to other athletes.”