Trainer Buddy McGirt expects his heavyweight charge, Dillian Whyte, to mount a comeback later this year in the wake of yet another drug scandal.

Whyte, the veteran heavyweight contender from London, found himself in hot water last August, a week out from his scheduled fight with Anthony Joshua, when it was announced that he had failed a doping test administered by Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, the most respected drug-testing agency in the sport.

It was the third time in his professional career that Whyte found himself embroiled in performance-enhancing drug controversy.

McGirt, who was hired by Whyte in late 2022 following a knockout loss to Tyson Fury, unequivocally said that retirement was not on his embattled charge’s mind, saying he expects Whyte to return in 2024.

“Dil is not going to go out like that,” McGirt said. “He’s not going to do that.

“As of right now we talk on the phone, but we don’t talk about boxing. We just crack jokes. We talk about everybody and anybody but we don’t talk about boxing.”

Asked how Whyte was doing, McGirt responded, “Yeah, he’s great, man.”

Whyte had an adverse finding in a random drug test ahead of his June 2019 bout with Oscar Rivas but that fight was allowed to proceed. Whyte ended up winning on points. United Kingdom Anti-Doping later exonerated Whyte of the drug charge on the contention that the sample Whyte had provided was consistent with contamination.  

That was not the only other time that Whyte ran afoul of PED regulation. Whyte was served a two-year ban after a victory over Sandor Balogh in October 2012 for testing positive for a banned stimulant. Whyte blamed the result on a “pre-workout drink.”

It is not clear what kind of steps Whyte has or is taking with the British Boxing Board of Control to make his return to the ring.

Whyte last fought in November of 2022, defeating Michigan’s Jermaine Franklin by majority decision at Wembley Arena in London.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.