Saunders denied licence, could lose belt

Tanya Simon
October 12, 2018

Englishman, Billy Joe Saunders has been denied licence to face Demetrius Andrade by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) after failing a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test in August.

Saunders was notified September 27 by Britain's Voluntary Anti-Doping Association that he had tested positive for Oxilofrine, a stimulant that can help a person with endurance.

James Tennyson's IBF world super-featherweight challenge against United States champion Tevin Farmer will go ahead on 20 October despite doubts over Billy Joe Saunders' presence on the bill.

Saunders has denied any wrongdoing in the matter and said that the adverse analytical finding was the result of using a common decongestant nasal spray.

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Instead, the 29-year-old former Olympian will lose out on a seven-figure payday and the show will proceed as Andrade will face Walter Kautondokwa for the organisation's vacant interim title at 160lbs. "Let's just hope that the Massachusetts Commission makes the right decision, and they abide by the true anti-doping gold standard in boxing called VADA".

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) rules, oxilofrine is only banned in competition, meaning a fighter is only in breach of rules if the substance is detected in his stem on the day of the a bout. Saunders will not be punished in the United Kingdom, and is free to fight.

This episode is the latest in a string of controversies for Saunders, who was fined £100,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control last month after a video surfaced of him asking a woman to perform a sex act on a passer-by in exchange for drugs.

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