Billy Joe Saunders' promoter attempts to explain alleged failed drug test
Billy Joe Saunders insists that he is a clean athlete despite reports claiming that he has failed a voluntary drug test.
ESPN and the Telegraph both reported on Thursday that Saunders tested positive for the banned substance oxilofrine in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association drug test ahead of his upcoming title defence against Demetrius Andrade.
The WBO middleweight champion remains on course to fight Andrade at Boston’s TD Garden on 20 October according to a statement from Saunders' promoter, Frank Warren.
Warren has explained the results of the drug test by claiming that Saunders failed the test due to a nasal spray that he has been using.
A statement from Warren read: "Following reports of an adverse analytical finding in a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association ('VADA') on WBO World Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, we can confirm that the product concerned is permitted to be used ‘Out of Competition’ by United Kingdom Anti-Doping ('UKAD') in line with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA').
"For the avoidance of doubt, the product in question was a common decongestant nasal spray.
"The British Boxing Board of Control ('BBBofC') under whose jurisdiction Billy Joe Saunders is licensed are affiliated only to UKAD/WADA.
"Today the BBBofC have confirmed that Mr Saunders is not in breach of BBBofC or UKAD anti doping regulations and is therefore in good standing and is licensed to box and defend his World Title on October 20th.
"Mr. Saunders has been tested a number of times in 2018, all negative, his last out of competition test by UKAD was on 24th September 2018."
thank you to my fans who stick by me I’m a clean athlete and gonna be around a long time thank you all stay blessed pic.twitter.com/uA2blTXeSq
— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) September 27, 2018
While the undefeated Brit continues to be licensed by the BBBofC, it remains possible that the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission could revoke his licence to fight in that state ahead of next month's title defence while the WBO also have the ability to strip Saunders of his title.
As recently as Tuesday, Saunders was fined £100,000 and given a severe reprimand after footage emerged of him degrading a woman and offering her drugs.