British Heavyweight Boxer Anthony Joshua Exposes Doping Cheats After Dillian Whyte Fight Cancelled

The numbers will shock you.

British Heavyweight Boxer Anthony Joshua Exposes Doping Cheats After Dillian Whyte Fight Cancelled

Image: Getty

The rematch between British heavyweight boxers Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte was cancelled after Whyte returned a positive test for an illegal substance, just a week from the main event in London. Now, Joshua is blowing the whistle on doping within the sport, claiming up to 70% of fighters are avoiding punishment.

The first fight between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, two titans of the heavyweight boxing game, was billed as Bad Intentions. Perhaps this would’ve been a more appropriate name for this month’s highly-anticipated rematch bout set for 12 August in London (UK Time), after Joshua’s British rival Dillian Whyte failed a routine drugs test, cancelling the fight and putting the entire event in jeopardy.

The former two-time world heavyweight champion revealed before a press conference he wasn’t surprised to hear of the results of the tests, sensationally claiming that as many as 60-70% of professional boxers are able to avoid detection for doping.

“It happens in boxing. It’s not the first and won’t be the last, so I was not surprised,” Joshua said. “I don’t understand how 60% to 70% of people can get away with doping if you get random drug tests. I get drug-tested all year round. Every quarter, I have to submit my whereabouts, where I’m going to be every day, at what hour of the day, so [VADA] can turn up randomly if they want.”

“It’s been like that since 2011. I’ve submitted it every day of my life. So why am I under that pressure but 60% to 70% of other boxers aren’t?”

Anthony Joshua

Whyte has pleaded his innocence, saying in a statement on social media he was “shocked and devasted” when he learnt of the positive result.

The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte was cancelled after Whyte failed a drugs test. Image: Getty

Ironically, Joshua was accused of doping by Dillian Whyte and American boxer Jarrell Miller in 2019; Joshua claims to have been randomly tested “all year round” in order to comply with the regulations imposed by Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

Joshua has never returned a positive test, but both Miller, and now Whyte, have.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Joshua said: “I then pay extra funds to then get my opponents drug tested to make sure no one is cheating because not just in the heavyweight division, it is rife across the whole of boxing.”

Robert Helenius has stepped up to fight Joshua in Whyte’s absence; the Finnish boxer, dubbed the Nordic Nightmare, is familiar with British boxing after his split decision win over Derek Dhisora in 2011. At 39, Helenius is 6 years Joshua’s senior and has only fought competitively three times since 2020, but that won’t stop him from chasing that “golden ticket.”

Helenius said: “I am excited about fighting Anthony Joshua on 12 August. I am a true Viking that is willing to face any challenge at a moment’s notice. This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it.”

Anthony Joshua will fight Robert Helenius on Sunday 13 August at 4am AEST.