Issue | News | Premium | Dec 03 2019

The questions around Dillian Whyte’s fight in Saudi Arabia

Despite the process with UK Anti-Doping awaiting clarity, Dillian Whyte is boxing on the Anthony Joshua undercard. Matt Christie finds out why
Dillian Whyte
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

THERE has been silence surrounding Dillian Whyte in the months that followed his July victory over Oscar Rivas. News broke days after the leading heavyweight’s 12th round triumph that he had failed a drug test before the contest, but he had been cleared to fight nonetheless. Rivas and his team did not know about the adverse findings until after the bout.

We were told that an independent panel – as per United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) policies – had concluded that no wrongdoing had taken place during a hearing on the morning of the fight. Yet we were not privy to the finer details of the case and – five months later – we’re still none the wiser. Legal battles continue yet Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter, has been steadfast in his belief that the heavyweight was free to fight. His comeback was confirmed for the Andy Ruiz Jnr-Anthony Joshua undercard in Saudi Arabia this weekend. He will take on the fading Mariusz Wach in a 10-rounder.

“There were a lot of rumours he was banned,” Hearn explained in Riyadh this week. “But he has not been banned, there has been no further movement since the fight. We were told that UKAD would issue a statement in October. That hasn’t come yet. I don’t want to pass the buck, but I have left it to him.


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