As BoxingScene.com reported on Tuesday, the WBC has provisionally suspended Dillian Whyte of his WBC interim heavyweight title and status as mandatory challenger to champion Deontay Wilder.
Whyte climbed off the canvas to beat Oscar Rivas by way of a twelve round unanimous decision 11 days ago and earned his shot at Wilder.
But the victory was plunged into controversy last week when it was revealed that the 31-year-old boxer came up positive for two metabolites of the banned substance dianabol before the bout in a test administered by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).
Promoter Eddie Hearn stated Whyte was cleared to fight by UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).
In a statement issued on his Twitter account last Friday, Whyte maintained he beat Rivas "fair and square" and decried "rubbish" being spoken about him.
The WBC, meanwhile, asked the British authorities to hand over any evidence pertaining to the matter and upon receiving that information they took action against Whyte "in light of [an] adverse finding".
A statement issued by the WBC on Tuesday read: "An 'A' Sample UKAD collected from Mr Dillian Whyte in relation with his bout against Oscar Rivas yielded an adverse finding.
"In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC's own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC's recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC interim world heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger of the division.
"The WBC has notified Mr Whyte and his team of the WBC's suspension and that it will afford Mr Whyte the opportunity to present [his] position to the WBC at an investigative hearing, which will take place at a place and time to be announced in the near future.
"Throughout its investigation and hearing, the WBC will afford Mr Whyte and his team the opportunity to present any available information and materials, and any exculpatory evidence they might deem appropriate."
Whyte's career was halted for two years from October 2012 due to a failed doping test.
Hearn believes his fighter is innocent, but at the same time he admits that a proper punishment will required if the facts prove otherwise.
“As I’ve said in the whole process of this. I feel particularly that we followed all the rules, all the process. And on Dillian Whyte, protocol was followed. He had a hearing, he was cleared [to box] at that hearing," Hearn stated in an interview with Talk Sport.
“And now, really, he’s gotta convince everybody else. He’s cleared to box now, not just on that night. He could box on Saturday, if he wants. But he has to make sure that everything is done properly now with his legal team, and I keep getting told off for even opening my mouth.
“But this has to come out with all the facts and he has to prove his innocence because, as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s just presumed he’s guilty anyway. The confidential facts – between the two parties until the case comes out – is that no-one really knows all the facts.
“But what I keep saying to people is just understand that a hearing was had with an independent panel where he was cleared to box. Ask yourself why he was cleared, perhaps there’s a very good chance that they saw the evidence that meant that he was innocent. So rest on that until you get all the news, and then you can judge.
Hearn added - “If he’s found to be innocent, completely innocent, which right now you can’t say he’s not, then great. If he’s found to be guilty and he has done something wrong, which in my heart of hearts I don’t believe so, then he should be banned from the sport. Anybody that cheats in the sport of boxing should be.”