Saunders Vacates Title, To Sue Athletic Commission
A week ago Billy Joe Saunders was still stinging from a punishment from the British Boxing Board of Control, and now not only was he fined by the BBoC, he has failed a VADA drug test, which has see him denied a license to fight in the state of Massachusetts, leaving him to vacate his WBO middleweight title.
Saunders would voluntarily vacate the title on Thursday to WBO President Francisco Valcárcel, instead of the governing body stripping him due to testing positive for the banned substance oxilofrine.
Valcárcel would also confirm that Demetrius Andrade and Walter Kautondonkwa will battle for the now vacant belt, and Saunders may receive a six-month suspension from the WBO for failing the drug test.
The British boxer is not going quietly into the night however, as the boxer is set to sue the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission for denying him a license in an attempt to recoup any lost earnings from the fight on October 20th.
Frank Warren, who promotes Saunders, claims the commission had no basis to deny a license based on the failed test because it was due to Saunders use of a common nasal decongestant spray.
“They referred to a prohibited list which is published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” Warren said in a recent interview, “and they applied that to deny him a licence.
“But the test was done by VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. The substance they found in their test is prohibited by them, but under WADA it is allowed out of competition, which is up until the day before the fight.”
The Massachusetts commission didn’t make a distinction in their decision on what could be considered in and out of competition.
“VADA bans everything. They are not recognized in Great Britain, they are not recognized by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and they are not recognized by the British Boxing Board of Control,” Warren said regarding why Saunders was utilizing the nasal spray less than two weeks prior to fight night.