Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Billy Joe Saunders to give up WBO title to challenge licence decision

Demetrius Andrade will face a new opponent in Boston Demetrius Andrade will face a new opponent in Boston
Cassandra Castillo | 14 October, 2018, 02:13

Saunders is now likely to be stripped of his WBO world middleweight title - which he has held since defeating Andy Lee in December 2015 - and Namibian Walter Kautondokwa is set to be installed as Andrade's substitute on 20 October at Boston's TD Garden. As soon as Saunders' failed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association urine test from August 30 came to light on September 26, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who represents Andrade, made a deal with Kautondokwa to be on standby if Saunders couldn't fight.

Dan Rafael of ESPN reported first that a source with intimate knowledge of the situation had let them know that Saunders had tested positive for the banned substance oxilofrine. All that VADA do is conduct a test and report the results.

A voluntary drugs test taken by the 29-year-old returned an "adverse analytical finding" leaving MSAC no choice but to refuse to sanction the bout. That means a fighter is in breach of the regulations only if it is found in their system on the day of a bout.

When asked why Saunders didn't proceed with an appeal, Valcarcel said, "I don't want to make any comments or give any opinions".

"Therefore, the clash between Demetrius Andrade and Walter Kautondonkwa scheduled for October 20th will now be for the vacant World Crown".

This is not some technical legal argument. The MSAC, in their decision to deny a licence to Billy-Joe, have wilfully refused to properly apply the code of WADA to their ruling. Further the MSAC refused to properly consider submissions from Billy-Joe's representative despite him being present at the hearing.

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"Unlike the British Boxing Board of Control (BBB of C), the MSAC is a State appointed governing body".

Kautondokwa (17-0 16KOs), who has replaced Billy Joe Saunders in the middleweight bout, is confident that he can add to his formidable knockout record in MA.

Warren said he will challenge the MSAC's decision in court.

When Kautondokwa got the call about possibly taking on Andrade, he had already been training even though a fight wasn't on the horizon. Billy-Joe, along with all other championship-level fighters is regularly and randomly tested by UKAD and WADA as a matter of course as the official affiliate of the British Boxing Board of Control.

"But the test was done by VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association". And so was not prohibited for the goal of the application of the WADA list and therefore the application of the MSAC rules to Billy-Joe.

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