WBC strips Whyte of interim title

Dillian Whyte has been stripped of his WBC interim heavyweight title and status as mandatory challenger to champion Deontay Wilder by the sanctioning body.

Whyte climbed off the canvas to beat Oscar Rivas on points 10 days ago and earn his shot at Wilder.

But the victory was plunged into controversy last week when it was reported the 31-year-old was positive for a banned substance before the bout in a test administered by the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).

Promoter Eddie Hearn stated Whyte was cleared to fight by UKAD, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), which also tested both boxers in the build-up to the contest.

In a statement issued on his Twitter account last Friday, Whyte maintained he beat his Colombian opponent "fair and square" and decried "rubbish" being spoken about him, while suggesting he was in the process of taking legal action.

The WBC, meanwhile, asked the British authorities to hand over any evidence pertaining to the matter and has now taken action against Whyte "in light of [an] adverse finding".

I am so disappointed with the rubbish that has been said about me over the last few days.
I have lawyers dealing with it and I have been told that I can't talk about it for good legal reasons.
I was cleared to fight and I won that fight fair and square.

Thanks for the support

— Dillian Whyte (@DillianWhyte) July 26, 2019

A statement issued by the WBC on Tuesday read: "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 [his] 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."

The win over Rivas was Whyte's 10th in succession after suffering a knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2015.

That remains the sole reverse of a 27-fight professional career that was halted for two years from October 2012 due to a failed doping test, meaning the former British champion could face a fight to save his career if he is shown to have committed a further offence.


Photo Getty Images. Caption: Dillian Whyte