Doping in Boxing: Robert Helenius has stepped in to fight Anthony Joshua with only a week’s notice after Dillian Whyte’s bout was cancelled due to a negative anti-doping test. Whyte claims to be “completely innocent” and denies using the chemical that was allegedly used in the fight.
Anthony Joshua has said that boxing doping is “rife” and expressed sympathy for aspiring boxers just starting out in the sport.
Joshua will now take on Robert Helenius, who stepped in just one week after his previous fight, at the O2 Arena, where he was initially scheduled to meet Dillian Whyte.
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association said over the weekend that it had notified the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Whyte had tested positive for “adverse analytical findings” following a “random anti-doping protocol”.
Whyte has sworn to show that he is “completely innocent” and has denied using the alleged drug.
You might also be interested in reading this: Beterbiev vs Smith: New Date Decided For Light-Heavyweight
Joshua told Sky Sports: “Boxing is a beautiful sport, it transforms lives, it changed my life and set me on the correct trajectory. I don’t think Whyte did anything wrong.
“It assisted me in breaking some bad habits, therefore it is an excellent sport for anyone looking to lose weight and does other similar things.
“However, in terms of the sport, I feel bad for aspiring fighters because you never know what is going on or what kind of opponent you are going up against.
“It is already so difficult, let alone the fact that there may be individuals cutting corners.
“I realised that there is an institution that prevents individuals from cheating and injecting substances into their systems that may offer them advantages since I was exposed to it when I joined the Olympic squad and represented Great Britain.
“So when I started fighting professionally, I started hiring these individuals and telling them, ‘Look, I was registered under this committee, I have been drug tested by these guys since 2011’.
“In order to ensure that no one is using drugs, I then spend additional money to have my opponents tested. This is because doping is widespread throughout boxing, not only in the heavyweight class.”