Should Dillian Whyte Have Been Provisionally Suspended by the UKAD Before The Rivas Bout?

Update December 6, 2019 – Today UK Anti Doping released a statement noting that their anti doping charge against Whyte has been “withdrawn”.  In short UKAD notes Whyte did test positive for a banned substance but concluded that the levels detected were “consistent with an isolated contamination event, and they are not suggestive of doping.

Update July 30, 2019 – Today the WBC handed Whyte a provisional suspension releasing the following statement

An “A” Sample UKAD collected from Mr. Dillian Whyte in relation with his bout against Oscar Rivas yielded an adverse finding. In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC’s own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC’s recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC Interim World Heavyweight Champion and Mandatory Challenger of the division.

The WBC has notified Mr. Whyte and his team of the WBC’s suspension, and that it will afford Mr. Whyte the opportunity to present its position to the WBC at an investigative hearing which will take place at a place and time to be announced in the near future. Throughout its investigation and hearing, the WBC will afford Mr. Whyte and his team the opportunity to present any available information and materials, and any exculpatory evidence they might deem appropriate.


This weekend Dillian Whyte won an interim WBC heavyweight title bout after defeating Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena in London.

It is reported that UK Anti Doping conducted an out of competition test prior to the bout and that Whyte’s “A” Sample reportedly tested positive for a banned substance(s).  Thomas Hauser reports that “The British Boxing Board of Control was advised by UKAD prior to Whyte-Rivas that Whyte had tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone. However, it allowed the fight to proceed as scheduled without notifying the Rivas Camp of the finding.”

Whyte, as with anyone accused of a doping violation, is entitled to due process.  However, in the case of certain doping infractions mandatory provisional suspensions are the norm.  This norm becomes particularly important in combative sports where an opponent can be exposed to harm facing a competitor they otherwise would not consent to fighting.

The question here is why was Whyte allowed to compete?

The BBBofC, the regulatory body overseeing the bout, released the following unenlightening statement

With regard to [our British Boxing Board of Control Anti-Doping Regulations], United Kingdom Anti-Doping undertake all anti-doping procedures on behalf of the British Boxing Board of Control and any subsequent findings, decisions, suspensions and sanctions are upheld by the British Boxing Board of Control in line with United Kingdom Anti-Doping.

In other words the BBBofC will honour whatever UKAD tells them and apparently the UKAD did not suspend Whyte.  The UKAD’s result management policies are quite clear that in the case of non-specified substance a mandatory provisional suspension is in order if there is an A-sample adverse analytical finding.

Section 7.9.1 of UKAD’s Rules calls for a mandatory provisional suspension for an “Adverse Analytical Finding” in an athlete’s sample for a non-specified substance.  Under section 3.3 of UKAD’s current Rules specified substances do not include “substances in the classes of anabolic agents“.  Epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone are metabolites of the banned drug Dianabol which is an anabolic steroid.

If Whyte was handed such a suspension he has “the right to apply to the NADP…showing cause for why the Provisional Suspension should not be imposed” under section 7.9.3 of the Rules.   The National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) is the United Kingdom’s independent tribunal responsible for adjudicating anti-doping disputes in sport.

Simply by making such a request “the Provisional Suspension shall not come into effect pending the decision on the application

If the application actually took place before the bout Whyte had a steep burden to meet needing to persuade the NADP that at least one of the below 4 tests is met:

The questions stemming from this story are as follows:

  1. Did UKAD provisionally suspend Whyte
  2. Why or Why Not?
  3. If he was provisionally suspended was the suspension lifted based on an application to the NADP?
  4. Did the NADP adjudicate the dispute prior to the bout and lift the suspension?
  5. If so was the suspension lifted and if so on which grounds?
  6. Why was Rivas not informed of all of this prior to the bout?




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