Dillian Whyte breaks silence on failed drugs test ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

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Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte had been due to fight next weekend (Image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing via Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte had been due to fight next weekend (Image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing via Getty Images)

Dillian Whyte has released a statement addressing his failed drugs test that saw his heavyweight bout against Anthony Joshua, scheduled for next Saturday, scrapped.

The 35-year-old took to Twitter to say: "“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 cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.

"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. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.

"I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.

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"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."

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Dillian Whyte breaks silence on failed drugs test ahead of Anthony Joshua fightDillian Whyte won't fight Anthony Joshua next weekend (Paul Harding/Getty Images)

"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."

News of the fight being cancelled was confirmed by a statement from promoter Matchroom earlier on Saturday afternoon, which 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."

Cancellation of this fight hardly helped Joshua's long-term plan, which was to use a bout against Whyte as a stepping stone towards a $60million fight with American Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia in December.

“I’m definitely up for fighting. There are a lot of names in the division but look at what this fight does," Joshua said in a press conference for the bout. "This fight does good business. Whyte is no longer a rival, I don’t see him that way. He’s just another body in the way."

Joshua is thought to be frantically searching for a replacement opponent to step in to the scheduled slot on Saturday, though whether he is able to find someone remains to be seen.

Josh O'Brien

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