TYSON FURY’S much-delayed UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) hearing resumed yesterday in London, though a verdict is not expected until next year.
The 29-year-old former heavyweight champion and his cousin and fellow heavyweight fighter Hughie Fury, 23, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in February 2015.
The pair, however, were not charged by UKAD until June 2016, by which time Tyson Fury had beaten Wladimir Klitschko. A rematch with the Ukrainian was scheduled for July 2016, but Fury postponed the fight, citing a sprained ankle, on the same day the UKAD charge was announced.
Both have strongly denied the nandrolone charge, claiming the result was due to eating wild boar that had not been castrated — a defence similar to the one used by cyclist Alberto Contador when he tested positive for a steroid at the 2010 Tour de France.
The case has been complicated by several other factors, though, as Tyson Fury failed a test for cocaine in September 2016 and later admitted using the drug to deal with depression related to his injury and doping woes.
Having already postponed another Klitschko rematch date and facing the prospect of having his titles stripped from him, Fury relinquished his belts on October 12. A day later, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) suspended his licence and the Manchester-born fighter’s career has been in limbo ever since.
Returns to training and possible fights have come and gone and hearings with the BBBoC and UKAD have been scheduled and adjourned, with an anti-doping tribunal halted in August after just one day because one of the lawyers involved had a conflict of interest.
There is also the issue of Tyson Fury, who has not fought since that remarkable win over Klitschko more than two years ago, refusing a drugs test in September 2016 — a serious offence, if proven, as it would count as a positive.
Given all of this, nobody linked to the case is expecting a speedy decision, with the panel set to hear evidence for at least two days before they retire to deliberate and write their decision. That process usually takes a few weeks, which pushes the verdict back until January.
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