Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom explains that Dillian Whyte's current drug testing drama is very different from the Conor Benn scandal.
Last October, Benn's planned fight with Chris Eubank Jr. was canceled after news broke that Benn had tested positive for a banned substance. Benn would later reveal that he tested positive for the same substance in an earlier test.
This past Saturday, Hearn revealed that Whyte was quickly pulled from his scheduled rematch with Anthony Joshua - because Whyte had adverse findings in his drug testing protocol with VADA.
“There are quite a few differences [between the Benn and Whyte situations] .... firstly the tests, the results and the substances were very different. Secondly, the conversations between the teams were very different, Benn vs Eubank was a co-promotion, AJ vs Whyte was a pure Matchroom promotion," Hearn told Talk Sport.
“Eubank’s team wanted to investigate the situation further and after taking medical advice they were willing to proceed with the bout subject to what the British Boxing Board of Control have to say. In this instance, AJ and his team looked at the results and wanted to terminate the contract immediately."
Hearn has supported Benn aggressively throughout his fight to clear his name, but the veteran promoter will not be involved in Whyte's upcoming battle.
“Firstly, I don’t represent Dillian, so I can’t talk on his behalf. What I can say is, I am surprised and I'm in shock, he has employed VADA testing meticulously over his career. I had an email as early as this morning from his team to say that there is a strict confidentiality on his behalf, not on my behalf and he's got a big fight on his hands," Hearn said.
"We'll let him go through that process and see how it pursues. But I was in big shock. On Saturday, when we found out, I was definitely surprised and he's got a tough road ahead."
Hearn was unable to disclose the details of Whyte's drug tests and the substance(s) involved, citing confidentiality as the reason.
Hearn is reserving his opinion on Whyte's most recent positive test.
“I don’t know Dillian Whyte necessarily well enough; I haven’t looked into the science enough, I would like to think that he is innocent because I don’t like the fact that he would have tried to gain an advantage in this fight. But we also cannot ignore the situation," Hearn said.
This is the third drug testing scandal in Whyte's career. He was banned for two years in connection to a positive drug test in 2012, and he also tested positive for a banned substance in 2019 but was ultimately cleared of those charges by UKAD.