TEAM GB boxer Muhammad Ali is facing a long ban after testing positive for a steroid in April, the sport’s international federation AIBA has confirmed.
The positive test came during a World Series of Boxing match between the British Lionhearts and Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca and he has been provisionally suspended since May.
A silver medallist at the 2014 World Youth Championships and 2016 European Championships, Ali lost in the first round of the flyweight competition at the Rio Olympics last year.
The 21-year-old Yorkshireman is highly rated by GB Boxing and is currently the top-ranked fighter in his World Series of Boxing division.
In a statement on the AIBA website, the international federation announced his provisional suspension and said it would not make any further comment until an AIBA anti-doping panel has heard Ali’s case. No date has been set for that yet.
It is understood that Ali asked for his B sample, which is used to confirm an initial finding, to be tested and that also came back positive for trace amounts of the steroid.
In a statement released to Press Association Sport, GB Boxing said it can confirm a member of its squad has tested positive for a banned substance and the boxer has been suspended from the programme and all competition pending the outcome of the process.
It added: “This is the first time that a member of the GB Boxing squad has tested positive for a banned substance.
“GB Boxing is committed to clean sport and we work in partnership with UK Anti-Doping and our international federation to provide extensive education and support to our boxers on anti-doping rules, the anti-doping obligations upon them as athletes and the importance of adhering to the principles of clean sport.”