Anthony Joshua has declared there is a ‘doping problem’ in boxing in the wake of his cancelled fight with Dillian Whyte.

The two-time world heavyweight champion was nearly left without a fight when Whyte returned an adverse analytical finding in a VADA test, forcing the cancellation of their encounter, which was set for Saturday.

Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius, 39, has flown into London to save the show at the O2 Arena after the teams agreed a deal on Sunday, just hours after he had boxed Mika Mielonen in his home country.

It is understood that Joshua took a pay cut of more than 50 percent on his original purse with this showdown against Helenius moved from DAZN pay-per-view to their regular subscription platform.

But the 33-year-old insisted it would have been ‘morally wrong’ to take the money and still fight Whyte given the findings in the VADA test, which the Brixton man vehemently denies.

Joshua said: “I wouldn't fight him on drugs, no way, it’s not right, it’s not morally right. I don’t wish Dillian any bad but his reputation is tarnished and it is not good for him or his career. I am in a situation with a late replacement and that isn’t good for anyone but [Helenius] has two arms and is a good fighter who won at the weekend and will roll the dice. It will keep me on my Ps and Qs.”

When pressed on how serious he believes the doping problem is in boxing, Joshua said: “I can’t speak on the numbers, I don’t really mix inside the boxing industry. I don’t know but it’s a problem. There is a doping problem in the sport, definitely.

“I don’t think we just need longer bans, I think we need to look at it at the root. I don’t know the solution but I always mind my ps and qs because I don’t want my reputation damaged.”

It is the second time Joshua has required a late replacements due to failed drugs following the cancellation of his proposed 2019 clash with Jarrell Miller, which was pulled when the self-styled ‘Big Baby’ failed multiple VADA tests. Instead Joshua boxed Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden and was knocked out in one of the biggest shocks in modern heavyweight history.

In the lead up to that fight, Miller had accused Joshua of doping while Whyte has in the past also suggested that the London 2012 Olympic champion was using PEDs.

Joshua said: “I have a long history of being drug tested and sometimes you have to question the person who keeps pointing the finger. It’s funny that the two people who have accused me have popped dirty themselves.

“Maybe they did it because of my physique or my success, my rise, it maybe didn’t make sense to them but it’s God gifted and a lot of hard work.

“I get drug tested all year round, every quarter I have to submit my whereabouts, where I am going to be, every day, for an hour of the day so they can turn up randomly. I have submitted that every day of my life since 2011.

“So I don’t know why I am under this pressure but all these other boxers aren’t. When you sign up to a promoter they should all have that in the deal.

“It damages the sport, look where we are at with this situation, we lost the fight and nearly lost the card because of this situation.”