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Conor Benn appeal: Welterweight loses bid to have doping ban for failed drugs test lifted, British boxing licence remains out of reach

Conor Benn’s hopes of obtaining a U.K. boxing licence have been dashed after the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) and United Kingdom Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) decision to issue a provisional suspension was upheld by the National Anti-Doping Panel.

Benn was suspended in late 2022 after testing positive for the banned substance clomifene. Subsequently, a super-hyped showdown with Chris Eubank Jr. was nixed and Benn hasn’t fought on U.K. shores since.

The tests that Benn failed (July and September of 2022) were conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) under the WBC’s clean boxing program. However, there was grey area because the Englishman had passed all UKAD tests (the official British testing agency) throughout the same period.

In February, the WBC reinstated Benn in their welterweight rankings after viewing an independent report into the situation. This decision was viewed by Benn’s team as a huge positive, if not a closure on the entire matter.

Consequently, there was speculation that a British licence was imminent, but the latest decision, announced on March 27, puts the breaks on Benn’s plans completely. After winning their appeal, the BBBoC and UKAD are expected to impose an official suspension on Benn in the upcoming weeks. 

In his two most recent fights, Benn has been licenced in the U.S. — where he’s won decisions over Rodolfo Orozco and Peter Dobson.

Any suspension handed down may be backdated to 2022, but the length of suspension could impact Benn’s ability to fight overseas.

Benn has always denied any wrongdoing, but apparent scientific evidence proving his innocence has not been made public.

MORE: Conor Benn failed drugs tests, explained

When will Conor Benn fight again?

There are always moving parts when it comes to doping bans, and consistency is rare.

However, Benn’s plans to take on boxing legend Manny Pacquiao or members of the welterweight elite have taken a massive hit.

Given the fact that he’s only 27 years old, it’s highly likely that Benn will return to the prize ring. With that said, it’s impossible to predict how long that will take.

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