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Rising Above Controversy: Conor Benn's Road to Redemption

Welterweight boxer Conor Benn announced on Friday that he is now free to resume his fighting career. His provisional suspension by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has been lifted by a National Anti-Doping Panel. However, UKAD has stated that they might appeal this decision and have a 21-day window to make their determination.

The reason for Benn’s suspension was due to him testing positive twice for the female fertility drug clomifene in July and September. Benn’s legal team does not dispute these test results. The main issue is how the substance entered his system on two separate occasions during different testing procedures.

The World Boxing Council (WBC) had previously suggested that overconsumption of eggs could be a possible explanation for the positive tests and restored Benn to its ratings in March. However, they later removed him due to inactivity.

Benn has consistently maintained his innocence, asserting that he is a clean athlete. He rejects the theory proposed by the WBC and stands by the Doping Panel’s decision to lift his temporary suspension, viewing it as a vindication of any wrongdoing on his part.

After one year and three days since his first positive test, 26-year-old boxer Conor Benn expressed relief and commented on the challenging time his fans, sponsors, and coaching team endured. He stated that he has now been vindicated for the second time after a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Panel and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). Benn has consistently maintained his innocence throughout the process.

“After a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Panel and UKAD, I have now been vindicated for the second time.

“Hopefully, the public and various media members can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through.

“The UKAD process has now formally ended. I remain free to fight. Naturally, I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all.”

In response to Benn’s statement, UKAD released its own statement, acknowledging that Benn is no longer provisionally suspended under the UK Anti-Doping Rules. However, UKAD has decided to appeal the ruling, as it is allowed to do so within 21 days of receiving the decision.

“In April 2023, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) took the exceptional step of publicly disclosing details of Mr. Conor Benn’s provisional suspension and charge. This followed reports from the media and comments made by Mr. Benn himself.

“UKAD’s statement also confirmed that the case would follow the Results Management process in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules.

“UKAD notes that Mr. Benn has made further public comments today regarding proceedings before the independent National Anti-Doping Panel. UKAD can confirm Mr. Benn is no longer provisionally suspended under the UK Anti-Doping Rules.

“The UK Anti-Doping Rules detail limited circumstances in which UKAD is able to make public disclosures about ongoing cases.

“They also set out a clear process within which cases can be heard, and decisions can be handed down by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel.

“Where case decisions are handed down by a panel, the Rules provide all relevant parties with a right of appeal.

“Under the Rules, UKAD has 21 days from the date of receipt of a decision to file any appeal. UKAD carefully reviews all decisions in its cases before deciding whether to exercise its right of appeal.

“UKAD is not able to make any further public disclosures in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules at this time.”

It remains uncertain whether Benn will attempt to reapply for a British Boxing Board of Control license, given his past comments against the Board. The Board will likely wait until after any appeal to make any decisions related to Benn’s licensing.

Benn’s promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, plans to stage a comeback event for Benn in September, hoping to feature him against significant opponents. A potential clash with Chris Eubank Jr. didn’t materialize, as Eubank is set to face Liam Smith again in Manchester on September 2.

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