By: Sean Crose
We all laughed. It seemed so easy to. Now, though, it appears we may have laughed unfairly. After the WBC ruled that welterweight Conor Benn wasn’t going to be held accountable for having tested positive for a banned substance because he may have ingested too many eggs, laughing could be heard throughout the internet. Per the WBC: “Mr. Benn’s documented and highly-elevated consumption of eggs during the times relevant to the sample collection raised a reasonable explanation for the Adverse Finding.” Again, it was easy too laugh. Perhaps, we’ve learned, too easy.
“The WBC have declared me innocent of being a drugs cheat,” Benn tweeted earlier this week. “I am grateful for the ultimate finding. It was the right decision and it was the only one I was willing to accept.” Still, the fighter indicated he clearly had concerns. “My only frustration,” he stated, “is that the manner in which I’ve been cleared has seemed to create further questions and add further fuel to baseless negative speculation. As such, having now had a chance to digest, I wanted to set out my position in full and explain in the simplest terms possible why I am innocent.”
Benn went on to focus on the WBC ruling itself. “I feel like the WBC statement did a disservice to my defense,” he claimed, “which was based upon a comprehensive scientific review of the testing procedures, which set out a number of reasons why we believed the results were completely unreliable, and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that I am innocent.” Somewhat surprisingly, Benn went on to argue that there was never a banned substance in his system at all.
“Let me be absolutely clear, though;” wrote Benn, “my defense is not a technical defense to exploit a loophole. I am convinced the substance was never in my system and I certainly never knowingly ingested it. I am told it supposedly stays in the body for months, and yet barely a week after failing a VADA test, I passed a UKAD test.”
Benn indicated that he was particularly put off at the British Boxing Board of Control, which made it a point to separate itself from the WBC after the WBC’s Benn ruling. “As for the BBBofC,” said Benn, “they attacked me publicly and privately during the most difficult time in my life, treating me with utter contempt and without any consideration for fair process or my mental state.” Benn closed his lengthy statement by acknowledging that many if not most wouldn’t believe his defense.
“I am aware that many people will not even bother to read this statement in full,” he wrote, “and continue to make their snap judgements without thinking. There is nothing I can do to change that, but I take comfort in what I know is true and have proven with evidence: I am innocent.”
And the truth is, none of us know if he is or he isn’t.
Which should keep us from making easy jokes without knowing all the facts surrounding a situation next time around.
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