Conor Benn provisionally suspended from boxing again; UKAD explains how decision to lift his ban was overturned | Boxing News

Conor Benn has once again been provisionally suspended from boxing.

The British Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) confirmed on May 10 that they had both been successful in their appeals against the decision of an independent national anti-doping panel that initially overturned a ban against Benn last July.

Jane Rumble, chief executive of UKAD, spoke Sky Sports in an in-depth interview during Clean Sport Week where a number of topics were discussed, including Benn’s interim suspension.

Rumble is clear on why Benn’s suspension is so confusing, as he was initially suspended in March 2023 after testing positive for a banned substance twice, ahead of a canceled fight against Chris Eubank Jr. in October 2022.

Rumble explained the process: “Generally speaking, if an athlete is found to have taken a banned substance and we have a finding that shows that we notify them and then charge them, that’s what happens. They can either agree to the charge or appeal that decision, and if they appeal that decision, the case goes to the National Anti-Doping Panel, which is an independent panel that looks at the evidence from us and the evidence from the athlete and then makes a decision.

Conor Benn
Benn’s last fight was a point victory over Peter Dobson in February in Las Vegas

“This decision may also be appealed by either the athlete or UKAD. We are now at a point where we have appealed this decision, UKAD has won that appeal and we are now back in an interim lockdown situation.”

“I can understand explaining this as just a process – what does it mean and what is happening here?

“What we can conclude from this is that there is a system of checks and balances and that you can appeal. I think that is a very healthy starting point if you apply a regulatory or legal framework so that the rights of each side are well represented are heard and decisions are made. This is a sign of a healthy, well-functioning system. But it takes time.”

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Benn had hoped to win a big fight this year after defeating Dobson

Could Benn appeal again?

Benn’s interim suspension is not the end of the matter. It has not yet resulted in an actual sanction or ban. UKAD has yet to determine this. The process is far from over and Benn still has legal remedies available under the transparent and public regulations, for example through the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Benn can also argue for a reduction in the period of suspension if the UKAD does impose a suspension. Each athlete has a number of options, including a resolution based on assessment of the individual’s fault, the seriousness of the violation and the time period in which the violation was admitted. An athlete can also argue that the rule violation was not “intentional”, but to do so the athlete must prove how the prohibited substance entered their system.

Benn, who has always maintained his innocence after failing doping tests, has fought twice in the United States after the independent National Anti-Doping Panel initially overturned his ban. His most recent fight was a points victory over Peter Dobson in February.

Benn refrained from making a public statement when he was told Sky Sports.