Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn denies performance enhancing drugs are a problem in his stable

Eddie Hearn denies performance enhancing drugs are a problem in his stable

Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

It hasn’t been a good year for Eddie Hearn when it comes to his boxers and drug tests.

Two of the male boxers he promotes have returned “adverse analytical findings” in the lead up to high profile bouts, while one of the hottest names in women’s boxing did the same this week.

All three – Conor Benn, Dillian Whyte and Alycia Baumgardner – pleaded their innocence and vowed to fight the charges.

The results have once again shone a spotlight onto the use of performance enhancing drugs in boxing and the advantages they provide.

Discussion on social media has been rife on the reason behind the recent influx of positive tests.

One argument that Hearn is not buying is that his stable is full of drug cheats.

“I did an interview yesterday and someone said to me ‘obviously a lot of people will point the finger at Matchroom’,” Hearn told iFL TV. “I said ‘for what?’ If you want the sport to be a safer sport – I’m not looking for a pat on the back – but you should want as much testing as possible across as many fights as possible in the sport.

“That’s what we are trying to implement. And it’s not a competition against other promotional companies – it’s fact that we’re the only promotional company investing anywhere near this level into testing to try and make the sport as clean as possible.

“Alycia Baumgardner, who we’ve represented for a long time, she had a test on one side of [the failed test] that she passed and she had a test a couple of days later on fight night that she passed. But still, she has to explain herself in this process. And we’ll support her in this process and I hope that she can prove her innocence here, absolutely.

“But we want to make sure there is as much testing as possible. Unfortunately, this would be the case across all sports… if you ramp up the testing and intensify the number of fighters who are being tested on a regular basis, you will find more analytical findings. It’s simple.

“So if we didn’t do any testing like other promoters, we wouldn’t have any cases – but we do. And unfortunately you go to other main events, fighters aren’t being tested, etc.

“We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to continuously invest in testing. And there’s a lot more to come as well, about programs that we’re trying to implement to make the sport as safe as possible.”

Hearns’ comments come as news broke today that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) was appealing a ruling by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) that cleared Benn to box.

“I’m disappointed at the news of an appeal being made, having already been cleared by both the WBC and National Anti-Doping Panel to continue my career without restriction. I am innocent. Nothing has changed and I remain confident in my position,” Benn said.

In a statement UKAD said: “UK Anti-Doping can today confirm that it has filed an appeal in respect of a decision handed down by the independent National Anti-Doping Panel regarding anti-doping proceedings brought by UKAD against Mr Conor Benn. As confirmed previously in UKAD’s statement on 28 July 2023, Mr Benn is no longer subject to a provisional suspension.”