Chris Eubank Jr. was all for giving Conor Benn the benefit of the doubt when it was first revealed to him that he tested positive for a banned substance ahead of their projected 157-pound catchweight bout in October.

Whatever feelings of bonhomie and charity Eubank had for his embattled rival, however, went out the window after he learned Benn had tested positive for the same substance on another occasion earlier this year.  

In a recent interview, Eubank opened up about the initial conversation he had with Benn after he was informed by his handlers that Benn had tested positive for clomiphene, a fertility drug that, when used by men, boosts testosterone levels and can be used as a masking agent. Eddie Hearn, Benn’s promoter, and Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promoter, learned of the positive test results roughly two weeks before the scheduled Oct. 8 fight, giving the impression that they were trying to keep the results under wraps and move forward with the event. The fight was eventually cancelled after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction the bout.

Eubank, in addition, clarified erroneous reports during fight week that he had spoken to Benn on Wednesday morning, when the Daily Mail first published its findings regarding Benn’s positive test. Eubank himself, at the time, was still willing to move forward with the fight.

“They (media outlets) were trying to say he (Benn) called me that morning … and that’s not true,” Eubank told iFL TV. “[We spoke] about 10 days before and when we spoke, it was like [Benn said], ‘alright, this has happened and we’re going to get to the bottom of this.’ I said, ‘You better. For your sake.’ I told him, ‘This is the worst thing that can ever happen to any fighters’ career. So, for your sake I hope you can figure it out. Because if not, that’s it.’

“He was kind of trying to say, ‘Oh, well, I don’t know how this happened. We’re going to get to the bottom of this.’ I didn’t really know what to say. And then obviously I found out about the second failed drug test and, you know, I was, like, wow, so, he lied.”

The Sun reported that the second positive drug test occurred earlier, on July 25, and was carried out by the same testing organization, the widely respected Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency. Benn, who admitted he failed two tests, has since accused the Board of being biased against him. Benn has also relinquished his boxing license, a move that has been regarded as something of an admission of guilt. Benn is reportedly involved in a hearing with the BBBofC, which will determine whether or not he is guilty. A guilty verdict would mean Benn could be banned from boxing for up to four years.  

For Eubank, a non-guilty verdict would not change much about how he or the public views Benn. In Eubank’s view, Benn is now branded with a scarlet letter. 

“When you fail two, which is apparently what he has done, it’s hard to believe anything that is not hands up, 'I’m sorry,'” Eubank said. “Even if that is the case, even if there is a non-guilty verdict, he’s still guilty. In the eyes of the people, the public, that asterisk, that stain is always next to his name, on his name. It doesn’t matter how much money you pay for your lawyers and for your defense team and your scientists. You got caught cheating. That’s the public opinion and that will never change.”

The 33-year-old Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs) is gearing up for a middleweight fight against Liam Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) on Jan. 21 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.