Billy Joe Saunders suspended by the WBO for six months following positive drugs test and loss of world title

PUNISHMENT

The former middleweight champion failed a VADA test for Oxilofrine, causing his bout against Demetrius Andrade on October 20 to be pulled

Billy Joe Saunders has been suspended for six months by the WBO, following his positive drugs test for Oxilofrine.

The former WBO middleweight world champion vacated his title last month after consequently being denied a Massachusetts state licence to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade on October 20.

Saunders forfeited his WBO middleweight title

Saunders forfeited his WBO middleweight title

His official, longer-term punishment has now been finalised.

“Everything has a good ending,” stated WBO president Paco Valcarcel at their annual convention on Thursday.

“Billy Joe sent us a public apology. We issued a resolution. He was suspended for six months.

“He has to do community work, work with young people. If you are going to be a champ you have to do things from the heart.

“Three months after his suspension we can consider if he will go into the ratings/if he will be reinstated.

“The information I have so far is that he started well and he is complying with what we asked of him. But he must continue. He must see this through. If this is not sustainable he will not be in the ratings.

“We want champions that will be good. That will be role models to future generations. If not we don’t want you.”

It is unclear whether Billy Joe Saunders can still box, despite the suspension, as the WBO do not hold a worldwide jurisdiction over the sport’s various commissions and the Brit is still licenced by the BBBofC.

In a similar circumstance, former WBC champion Luis Nery was banned by the WBC earlier this year. The Mexican fighter scheduled a fight regardless, but then called it off after the WBC told him they would refuse to allow him a future title shot with their organisation if he violated their suspension.

After Saunders was pulled from the initial bout, Demetrius Andrade fought Walter Kautondokwa for the vacant world title.

The American scored four knockdowns en-route to a unanimous decision victory, and so now holds the belt Saunders proudly owned for almost three years.

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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