Dillian Whyte has returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a random dope test and next week’s heavyweight fight with former world champion Anthony Joshua is off, promoters Matchroom Boxing said on Saturday.
The two Britons had been due to meet at London’s O2 Arena on Aug. 12 in a rematch of their 2015 bout, won by Joshua, at the same venue.
Matchroom said in a statement that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) had informed them and the sanctioning bodies that Whyte “returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.”
“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled, and a full investigation will be conducted.”
Whyte claimed he had done nothing wrong and deserved a chance to clear his name.
“I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it. I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken. I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life.”
Whyte said he had produced false positive tests in the past and vowed to fight the result.
“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years,” he said.
“This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time I will again prove that I am completely innocent.
“In the meantime, all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”
Whyte lost a title challenge to WBC world champion Tyson Fury in April 2022. Joshua lost his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.
The outcome of the Joshua v Whyte fight could have put either fighter in the frame for a lucrative clash with former WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
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