Home News Conor Benn admits it's been a 'year of HELL' in his first...

Conor Benn admits it's been a 'year of HELL' in his first phone call with Eddie Hearn since being cleared by UKAD over positive drugs tests

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Conor Benn admits it’s been a ‘year of HELL’ in his first phone call with Eddie Hearn since having his provisional suspension lifted by UKAD

Eddie Hearn reveals he urged Conor Benn to ‘keep the faith’ as the fighter waited for the result of an independent National Anti-Doping panel in a phone call after news broke that Benn has been cleared by UKAD over his two positive drugs tests in 2022. 

The fighter faced a potential two-year ban after being formally charged by UK Anti-Doping after failing tests collected by a different agency, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, for the banned substance clomifene last July and September.

UKAD said on Friday that Benn’s temporary suspension has been lifted, but they also confirmed they will review their right to appeal – they have 21 days to do so. 

The 26-year-old has maintained his innocence throughout the process, and has spent ‘hundreds of thousands’ on additional testing in a bid to clear his name. 

On the phone with his promoter Hearn, Benn shared his ‘raw’ thoughts on the ruling in a video posted on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel. 

British boxer Conor Benn saw his temporary ban for two positive drugs tests lifted by UKAD

Eddie Hearn (left) stood by his fighter throughout the process, urging him to 'keep the faith'

Eddie Hearn (left) stood by his fighter throughout the process, urging him to ‘keep the faith’

The promoter shared his first phone call with the 26-year-old after news broke on Friday

The promoter shared his first phone call with the 26-year-old after news broke on Friday

Hearn opened his call with a cheerful ‘oi oi!’ and found Benn speechless. 

The storied promoted followed up with a rallying cry of ‘let’s f****** go!’

Hearn continued: ‘You know it was over a year since we got the results? One year of pain.’

”Yeah. Do you know what? It’s crazy, because it doesn’t feel like – I just can’t believe it,’ Benn shared. ‘It’s been the year from hell.’

‘But you kept the faith,’ Hearn adds. ‘All those times when you were in the office and I said toy you – you said, “What am I going to do?”. And I said, “you can’t do nothing else!” You’ve got to keep training, keep the faith, and go from there.’

Benn shared that he was ‘thankful’ for his team as he reflected on a year that he saw as ‘nothing but madness’. 

‘I’m just glad that now I get to go back to doing what I love. It’s my life. How do you tell a 26-year-old to prepare for this? It shocked all of us,’ Benn continued. ‘I’m just glad to keep it moving.’ 

‘More importantly now, you’ve got your whole career ahead of you,’ Hearn added. ‘The past is the past. 

‘You’re going to get stick still, we’re going to get stick still, couldn’t give a f***. You’ve done everything that’s been asked of you.’

Benn could yet encounter an impediment to his return to the ring in the form of a potential appeal, and it remains unclear whether the fighter will return with a British Boxing Board of Control licence, after relinquishing his last year. 

But should Benn return, his promoter may yet schedule a September tune-up before a full-scale return in December. 

In a statement shared in the wake of UKAD’s lifted suspension, Benn revealed how much the process had ‘weighed’ on him. 

‘Hopefully the public and various members of the media can now understand why I have maintained my innocence so strongly all the way through,’ the statement read. 

Benn's banner fight with Chris Eubanks Jnr (left) was cancelled in the wake of the positive tests

Benn’s banner fight with Chris Eubanks Jnr (left) was cancelled in the wake of the positive tests

‘The UKAD process has now formally ended, and I remain free to fight.

‘Naturally I am pleased that I can now put this behind me once and for all.

‘As you can imagine the last 10 months have weighed heavily on me and I am anxious that if this happened to me it could potentially happen to any honest, dedicated and clean athlete like me.

‘I now intend to put this matter behind me and look forward. Which begins with fighting as soon as possible so I can remind everyone who I am.’