Britain's unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders vacates middleweight crown

Shortly after a now-deleted statement from promoter Frank Warren said Saunders would be vacating his WBO middleweight title after his positive test for oxilofrine was announced, the WBO issues its own statement.

That test, which was conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, prompted the MSAC to deny Saunders a licence, costing him a £1.7m payday for his proposed title defence against Dimitrius Andrade in Boston on October 20.

The British boxer is not going quietly into the night however, as the boxer is set to sue the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission for denying him a license in an attempt to recoup any lost earnings from the fight on October 20th.

Billy Joe Saunders.WBO President Francisco ‘Paco Valcárcel, Esq reacted on Billy Joe Saunders' public comments regarding his world title status: “B.J.

WBO middleweight champion Saunders was notified two weeks ago that he had failed a drug test.

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Saunders and Andrade contracted with VADA to oversee a testing program for their fight. It was revealed at the end of September that Saunders had returned a positive for the stimulant oxilofrine, which is only banned by Wada when taken in competition. WADA, as mandated by the British Boxing Board of Control. However, VADA banned the substance at all times. The substance they found in their test is prohibited by them, but under WADA it is allowed out of competition, which is up until the day before the fight. The low level of the chemical detected in the test supplied by Billy-Joe - ingested via a nasal spray - is not a prohibited substance when ingested "out of competition".The VADA test was conducted "out of competition" 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.

"Because of the mental anguish brought about by this case and out of respect for the WBO, Billy Joe will with a heavy heart relinquish his world title, whilst this issue is in the process of being resolved".

Whilst the above situation is currently ongoing, Demetrius Andrade will now contest an interim WBO middleweight title against Walter Kautondokwa on the 20th of October in MA. "Further, the MSAC refused to properly consider submissions from Billy Joe's representative despite him being present at the hearing".

Valcarcel added that Saunders "probably will be suspended for six months".

"If the fight was taking place in the United Kingdom, it wouldn't be a problem".

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