I'm Dreaming of a Whyte Christmas
By Robert Ecksel on December 11, 2019
Dillian Whyte’s status was upgraded from alleged drug cheat to interim WBC champion.
Dillian Whyte has been waiting to challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for what seems like forever. There’s a distinct lack of credible challengers for “The Bronze Bomber” to fight. With the exception of Tyson Fury, with whom he drew and will presumably rematch sometime soon; Luis Ortiz, who he has twice beaten by early stoppage; and resurgent Anthony Joshua, who will likely stay as far as possible from the Alabama Assassin’s right hand; Whyte is part of the discussion again, now that his provisional suspension for failing a pre-fight drug test has been lifted and his status upgraded from alleged drug cheat and restored to interim WBC heavyweight champion.
Unlike other sports, with their protocols and concern about their image, boxing is unusually forgiving when it comes to athletes who get caught juicing, but if the fighters can generate revenue, a slap on the wrist is the extent of their punishment, and the show goes on.
On December 6, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) withdrew its accusation against Whyte, who failed a random, pre-fight urine test when trace amounts of Dianabol, a banned substance, were found in his system.
UKAD’s statement reads as follows:
UK Anti-Doping and the professional boxer, Dillian Whyte, can today jointly confirm that Mr Whyte was charged with an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) earlier this year, but that this charge has now been withdrawn.
The charge was brought after a sample provided by Mr Whyte on 20 June 2019 indicated the presence of two metabolites of a steroid. UKAD initiated an investigation with which Mr Whyte cooperated fully. UKAD has accepted the explanation provided by Mr Whyte and, in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules, the charge against Mr Whyte has been withdrawn.
This would ordinarily mean that UKAD would not make any public statement, in accordance with the applicable confidentiality rules to which UKAD is subject. However, since certain confidential information relating to this matter (including the fact of the initial charge) has unfortunately made its way into the public domain, UKAD and Mr Whyte have agreed to take the unusual step of releasing the following limited information to put an end to speculation concerning Mr Whyte’s status.
In respect of Mr Whyte's drug testing results, the following points are relevant:
There is nothing in Mr Whyte's longitudinal urinary profile to suggest that he has used steroids.
The levels of the metabolites found in Mr Whyte's 20 June 2019 sample were extremely low.
Mr Whyte had provided a urine sample to VADA on 17 June 2019, i.e. 3 days before his 20 June 2019 sample, which was tested by a WADA-accredited laboratory and which returned a negative result, including for the metabolites in question.
Mr Whyte provided several other doping control samples to UKAD and VADA between 20 June and 20 July 2019 (i.e. the date of his fight with Oscar Rivas) – all of which also tested negative.
In light of the above points, the trace amounts of metabolites found in the 20 June 2019 sample are consistent with an isolated contamination event, and they are not suggestive of doping.
Having rigorously scrutinised and investigated the detailed factual and scientific evidence provided by Mr Whyte, UKAD is satisfied that the presence of the very low amounts of metabolites in his 20 June 2019 sample was not caused by any fault, negligence or wrongdoing on Mr Whyte’s part and, given the circumstances, could not have affected the fight between Mr Whyte and Mr Rivas on 20 July 2019. Indeed, prior to that fight, an independent tribunal considered a number of the above factors before deciding to permit Mr Whyte to participate. Following that preliminary ruling, UKAD continued its investigation and Mr Whyte provided further evidence in his defence, which has culminated in UKAD’s decision to withdraw the charge.
Mr Whyte acknowledges that, based on the test results reported to UKAD relating to his 20 June 2019 sample, UKAD acted in accordance with the UK Anti-Doping Rules by issuing the initial charge and in the conduct of its investigation.
Pursuant to the terms of the UK National Anti-Doping Policy, UKAD must always act in the interests of justice and not solely for the purpose of obtaining determinations adverse to athletes. In the present case, UKAD considers that means that the appropriate course of action is for the charge against Mr Whyte to be withdrawn and does so in accordance with the relevant anti-doping rules.
The WBC, echoing UKAD’s ruling, released its own statement yesterday.
On July 20, 2019, Dillian Whyte defeated Oscar Rivas conquering the WBC Interim Heavyweight World Championship. A few days later, a news report made public that an out-of-competition urine sample collected by UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) on June 20, 2019 from Dillian Whyte had yielded an adverse finding. In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC’s own investigation and adjudicatory process, on July 30, 2109, the WBC provisionally suspended its recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC Interim World Heavyweight Champion and Mandatory Challenger of the division.
On December 6, 2019, UKAD made a public announcement withdrawing its charge against Dillian Whyte.
Based on limited but detailed research and information gathering, including the WBC’s consultation with two independent experts, the WBC found that there was no sufficient or conclusive evidence that Whyte intentionally, or even knowingly, ingested a banned substance with the purpose of enhancing his performance in any fashion. In light of the WBC’s own finding and of UKAD’s withdrawal of the claim against Mr. Whyte, the WBC has closed its internal investigation.
The WBC is hereby lifting its provisional suspension and confirming its recognition of Mr. Whyte as WBC Interim World Heavyweight Champion.
Consistent with the WBC Board of Governors’ Ruling at last October’s 57th WBC Annual Convention, Interim Champion Whyte shall become the Mandatory Challenger of the division immediately after Champion Deontay Wilder’s mandatory defense against current Mandatory Challenger Tyson Fury, with the mandatory defense against Whyte being due on or about February of 2021.