The Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte rematch has now been cancelled following a failed drugs test result.
Boxer, Dillian Whyte, returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a VADA test, promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Saturday, August 5 – a week before the fight was due to take place.
A statement from Hearn’s company Matchroom read: “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.”
It is unknown as at press time if AJ will seek a replacement opponent.
Filip Hrgovic vs Demsey McKean was due to take place on the undercard next Saturday, though Joshua could choose to simply wait for a showdown with Deontay Wilder that looks likely for January in Saudi Arabia.
This is not the first time Whyte is failing a drug test. In 2012 after having 9 wins and 0 losses on his record, he tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine in a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) test.
He was ultimately given a two-year ban from boxing by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP), despite the panel accepting his claim that he accidentally ingested the substance because it was an ingredient in an over-the-counter supplement he took.
Whyte returned to boxing in 2014, became a big name following his defeat to AJ in 2015 and then spent several years campaigning for a WBC world title shot.
Also, before his win over Oscar Rivas in 2019, he tested positive for the metabolites of a steroid (reported to be dianabol) in a UKAD test.
He was allowed to fight regardless and news of the positive test only emerged publicly after his victory.
Following a long legal process behind the scenes, Whyte was ultimately cleared of all wrongdoing by UKAD and received no ban over this positive test, so resumed his career.
In 2022, he finally got his WBC world title shot, but was knocked out by Tyson Fury.