By Joe Brophy
Conor Benn threw Saturday’s huge clash with Chris Eubank Jr into doubt with ‘an adverse finding’ in a random doping test
The 26-year-old was made aware he had returned an adverse finding for the banned substance clomifene in August.
The substance is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and it’s use has frequently led to suspensions in a number of athletes.
However, both Eubank Jr and Benn want to proceed with their fight but why are they allowed to and what is clomifene?
What is Clomifene and why is it banned?
Clomifene, also known as clomiphene or simply Clomid, is primarily used to treat infertility in women who do not ovulate.
It works similarly to estrogen in that it stimulates egg production in women to give them the best chance possible of getting pregnant.
However, it can double as a performance enhancer as it can also increase testosterone in men when taken as a daily pill.
Among other things, Testosterone is the primary anabolic steroid in males which plays a key role in putting on muscle size and strength.
It is a natural androgen in the human body that aids in tissue healing and sperm production.
But the increased physical boost from clomifene, which can double the level of testosterone, makes it a banned substance in athletics.
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How is Eubank Jr vs Benn allowed to go ahead?
“There has been a trace finding of a female fertility drug in a voluntary testing scheme, which is in addition to the UKAD testing scheme, the British Boxing Board of Control’s testing scheme,” Eubank Jr’s promoter Kalle Sauerland told talkSPORT.
“At the end of August, beginning of September, there was a test taken by Benn in which there was this female fertility drug and that was then relayed to us when those tests came back.
“The British board follows UKAD and all those tests were presented to us as negative and that’s the position from a licensing point of view that we have received.
“It’s a non-PED, but at the same time it can raise the testosterone levels, but the experts we consulted couldn’t see that it was giving an advantage.
“So, on the basis of that, we discussed with the most important person on our side and that’s the athlete and he was happy to continue.
“We spoke to Benn directly, there was a direct discussion between the two, but I’m not privileged to that discussion, I wasn’t part of that discussion…
“We have to focus on the show on Saturday and we can’t be distracted by anything.
“The summary of what we’ve received is that there was this trace finding, but the key for me here is the UKAD findings and the medical advice, which is probably the most important thing here, because we’re talking about a physical combat sport, so that for me is the be all and end all.
“The first thing you think when you hear ‘positive doping test’ is that the fight’s off, then you have to look into what it is…
“It’s very clear there’s been a big mistake here from the other side, but ultimately has it been done as a PED? No. That’s what the medical opinions are.”
Which other fighters have been affected by Clomifene?
In 2017, WWE star Brock Lesnar received a one year suspension from the UFC for testing positive for clomiphene ahead of UFC 200.
The former UFC heavyweight champion beat Mark Hunt by unanimous decision but it was later overturned to a No Contest.
Lesnar’s representatives claimed at the time his use was accidental and tested his eye medication and foot cream tested for clomiphene.
Ahead of the same event at UFC 200, Jon Jones was due to rematch Daniel Cormier before he tested positive for two banned substances.
One of those was hydroxy-clomiphene, which resulted in Jones being pulled from the bout and suspended for one year.