Tyson Fury faces independent hearing over ban for ‘prohibited substance’
The world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was provisionally suspended in June over the presence of a prohibited substance, UK Anti-Doping has announced
Tyson Furys boxing career has veered in crazy patterns from the day he turned professional eight years ago, but on Wednesday the world heavyweight champion took heart over his latest setback when UK Anti-Doping lifted a provisional suspension for the alleged presence of a banned substance in his system.
Ukad said it would await the result of a hearing of the independent National Anti-Doping Panel before taking any further action. Ukad also suspended the fighters cousin, Hughie Fury, and confirmed the NADP would review his case, as well.
Tyson Fury won the WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO versions of the world titles from the long-reigning German-based Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in Dsseldorf in November last year and the years of chaos that had attended his career seemed to be over. But those titles were subsequently carved up among the elite of the division, Anthony Joshua picking up the IBF belt, and the Australian Lucas Browne getting a version of the WBA title (before a drugrelated ban). The WBC champion is the unbeaten Deontay Wilder.
So the field was in its customary disarray, but Fury was perfectly placed to figure in a series of high-profile unification fights not to mention the scheduled rematch with Klitschko until results of his drug test came in. The Fury camp reacted on Tuesday by threatening to sue Ukad. A Ukad spokesperson said on Wednesday: In response to public comments made by Tyson and Hughie Furys representatives, UK Anti-Doping can confirm that both boxers were charged on 24 June 2016 with the presence [in urine tests] of a prohibited substance.
Mandatory provisional suspensions were imposed pursuant to article 7.9.1 of the UK Anti-Doping rules. The UK Anti-Doping rules allow athletes to challenge the imposition of a provisional suspension, and the independent National Anti-Doping Panel today lifted the athletes suspensions, pending full determination of the charges. These charges will be heard at a hearing before the NADP in due course. UK Anti-Doping will not comment further on the case until due legal process has been completed.
The Fury connections were in voluble mood on social media and through their legal representatives, as well as their promoter Frank Warren.
Peter Fury, Hughies father and Tysons uncle and trainer, tweeted: To all our fans. Ukad suspension Lifted & Tyson-Fury hughiefury can & will be fighting with full go ahead from tribunal. Truth!! Amen. Congratulations to Tyson-Fury & hughiefury, they will now have their day in court after the ridiculous situation UKAD put them in!
The cousins lawyer, Lewis Power, said in a prepared statement: The two boxers strenuously deny taking any performance-enhancing drugs. However, during the last five weeks, leaks about these charges have appeared in the press and both boxers have been the targets of continual abusive language on Twitter.
The lifting of the suspension eases anxiety for Fury about his reign as world champion. His preparations for a 9 July rematch with Klitschko were abruptly halted when he turned his ankle during a training run in Scotland and, almost simultaneously, Ukad charged him and his cousin with having the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone in their systems. According to some unconfirmed reports, the drug had been detected as long ago as February last year, claims the fighter denied. Tyson immediately postponed the Klitschko fight and it seemed possible he would carry through his intermittent threat to walk away from boxing. However, he announced plans to go ahead with the fight on 29 October.
If that fight does take place, it will be against the familiar background of confusion that Fury has brought to his career and that has done as much for his ticketselling clout as his considerable boxing ability.