Anthony Joshua’s highly anticipated rematch with Dillian Whyte, scheduled for August 12, has been canceled after Whyte returned “adverse analytical findings” in a pre-fight drugs test.
The test was carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
A statement from Matchroom Boxing said: “Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.
“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled and a full investigation will be conducted.
“Further information on the event will follow.”
Whyte denies any wrongdoing and claims his innocence. In a statement posted on his social media channels, he expressed his surprise upon learning about the report by VADA.
“I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me, I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it. I have also just seen that the fight is being canceled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken,” he wrote.
“I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time, I will again prove that I am completely innocent. In the meantime, all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”
As a result of the adverse finding, Matchroom Boxing has canceled the event. They are now searching for a new opponent for Joshua for the main event at London’s O2 Arena. The cancellation comes as a major disappointment to boxing fans who were eagerly anticipating the showdown between the bitter rivals.
It’s worth noting that Whyte has faced doping-related controversies in the past, with a two-year suspension form 2012 to 2014 for taking an illegal supplement. However, in a previous doping violation charge in 2019, he had the case dropped by UK Anti-Doping, with the agency stating that the levels of the banned substance were “very low” and he was not at fault.