Billy Joe Saunders next fight cancelled, likely to be stripped of world title after commission deny licence due to positive drugs test


The WBO middleweight champion tested positive for Oxilofrine in a VADA test

Billy Joe Saunders has been denied a licence for his next fight by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission following a positive drugs test for Oxilofrine.

The 29-year-old was scheduled to defend his WBO middleweight world title against Demetrius Andrade on October 20 in Boston, however he will now likely be stripped of his belt as a result of this decision.

Saunders won the WBO middleweight title from Andy Lee in 2015

Saunders won the WBO middleweight title from Andy Lee in 2015

On September 27 it emerged that the banned substance oxilofrine, a stimulant, was found in Saunders’ system by a VADA drugs test ahead of the bout.

There were then questions regarding whether the substance was only banned ‘in competition’ (on the day of the fight) and confusion grew regarding the different rules from different organisations.

His promoter Frank Warren claimed it was down to a nasal spray product that Saunders had used which is permitted “out of competition.”

However, Billy Joe Saunders’ fate was ultimately decided by the Massachusetts Commission on Tuesday, who opted to deny him a licence to box in the state.

The WBO president previously stated that the Brit would be stripped if this came to pass, however this has not been officially confirmed just yet.

It is expected that the show will go ahead as planned, with Demetrius Andrade instead facing WBO #2 Walter Kautondokwa for the title.

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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