British boxer Anthony Joshua has expressed his concern about the prevalence of doping in the sport and called for the implementation of a global anti-doping policy. Joshua’s recent fight against Dillian Whyte had to be cancelled after Whyte tested positive for an illegal substance. As a result, Joshua will now be facing Robert Helenius on Sunday morning (AEST) in London. This is not the first time a top-level boxer has been pulled from a fight due to a failed drug test. Last year, Chris Eubank Jr’s fight with Conor Benn was cancelled after Benn failed two voluntary tests. And in January, Amir Khan was banned for two years following a failed test after his fight against Kell Brook in February 2022. Joshua himself had to replace an opponent in 2019 after Jarrell Miller tested positive for banned substances. In an interview with the BBC, Joshua expressed his uncertainty about how to solve this problem, but made it clear that it is a serious issue. He emphasized that boxing is a dangerous game, and that the issue of anti-doping should not be taken lightly. In a separate interview with The Guardian (UK), Joshua revealed that he believes up to 70% of fighters are involved in some form of doping. He questioned how it is possible for so many individuals to escape detection if random drug tests are being conducted. Joshua himself undergoes regular drug testing throughout the year, and has to provide his whereabouts on a quarterly basis to ensure random tests can be conducted. He expressed his frustration that he is under pressure to adhere to these requirements, while many other boxers do not face the same level of scrutiny. Joshua concluded by suggesting that all top-tier promoters should include random testing as part of their contracts with fighters. Eddie Hearn, the CEO of Matchroom Boxing and promoter for both Whyte and Benn, echoed Joshua’s sentiments, stating that regular testing at all levels of the sport is necessary, and that a universal set of rules should be implemented globally. Hearn acknowledged that achieving this goal would be a challenging task, given the various governing bodies and their differing rules in different states and countries.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.