Eddie Hearn has been criticised after he contradicted his stance on VADA drug testing following Conor Benn’s failed test.

Matchroom Boxing kingpin Hearn was set to promote Benn’s fight with Chris Eubank Jr at London’s O2 arena on Saturday night. However the British Boxing Board of Control are refusing to sanction of the fight and officially “prohibited” the event after news emerged Benn had tested positive for traces of a fertility drug.

Both the promoters and fighters have insisted the fight go on with Hearn taking legal advice in a bid to force the Board to sanction the bout. But footage of Hearn, filmed when Billy Joe Saunders pulled out of his fight with Demetrius Andrade in 2018, has emerged which shows the promoter claiming it would be a “mockery” to ignore the result of a drug test.

“What is the point in signing up for drug testing if, when you fail, everyone just goes, ‘Oh don’t worry about, just let him fight’, you know?,” Hearn said. “The argument of ‘well it’s alright with UKAD’ is totally irrelevant, you’ve signed for drug testing with VADA – the best testing agency, in my opinion, in the sport. I really I wanted this fight to happen, but he failed a VADA test. You can’t ignore it, otherwise the sport’s a mockery.”

Yesterday Hearn remained determined to keep the fight on track by focusing on the testing carried out by UKAD. “Both guys signed up to a multitude of testing for this fight,” he said at yesterday’s open workout. “The UKAD testing, which is the testing agency that the BBBofC used and are governed by, have all been clear and negative, and there was an adverse finding on a VADA test previously, so there’s not been an official doping violation.

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“There’s a process that has to be gone through, Conor Benn is not suspended. He can’t be because he’s passed all the tests from UKAD, but clearly the British Boxing Board of Control will take a position on it, we’ll deal with the lawyers. The ongoing process now with the investigation, it’s a difficult situation for the Board because the Board do not acknowledge VADA testing. You remember when Billy Joe Saunders tested positive for VADA?

“He was banned by the Massachusetts Commission, the Board did not suspend him or ban him because they don’t acknowledge VADA.They only acknowledge UKAD, of which Conor Benn has had multiple testing for this fight and it’s all been negative, so there’s a lot to digest and go through. But we have see where we go from here because if the Board aren’t suspending Conor Benn, and they won’t suspend Conor Benn, they don’t have the right to under their jurisdiction with the tests that he’s been passing with UKAD.”

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