Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Sport | By

Billy Joe Saunders denied licence to fight

Billy Joe Saunders denied licence to fight

Billy Joe Saunders has been denied a license by the MA state athletic commission and will likely be stripped of the WBO middleweight championship after failing a voluntary drug test ahead of his forthcoming title defence against Demetrius Andrade.

However, the test was carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which does not differentiate between in-competition and out-of-competition substances.

"It is unfortunate that a boxer as talented as Saunders is facing this controversy and will not be able to defend the title", said WBO President Francisco Valcarcel Mulero.

The fight had been due to take place on October 20 in Boston, but has now been scrapped, and quite likely the WBO could strip him of his world middleweight title.


After being notified of the positive drug test back in September, Saunders stated that oxilofrine was in his system due to using nasal spray and has since added that he is not a cheater. The stimulant is banned by Vada while it is prohibited only during competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping.

The 29-year-old Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) has made three successful title defenses since winning the title from Andy Lee by majority decision in December 2015.

Andrade's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said he would look to secure a bout for the vacant title in the event Saunders is stripped of his crown.

Last month, Saunders was fined £100,000 by the BBBofC and given a severe reprimand about his future conduct after video footage emerged of him appearing to offer a woman drugs. Saunders will not be punished in the United Kingdom, and is free to fight.

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