Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Billy Joe Saunders to give up his WBO title

Billy Joe Saunders to give up his WBO title

"The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, whose jurisdiction the fight takes place under, at their hearing yesterday they had said they had grounds for denial of his application for a license", Warren said. The MSAC in their refusal to grant a licence to Billy-Joe have benefitted his scheduled opponent, Andrade, who hails from nearby Rhode Island and who will now fight for a vacant title against the next ranked Namibian Walter Kautondokwa.

Andrade will now fight No. 1 contender Walter Kautondonkwa for the vacant title on October 20.

Saunders was denied a boxing license by the organisation on Tuesday after failing a voluntary drug test and will miss out on the chance to defend his WBO middleweight belt against Andrade in Boston on October 20.

But it is prohibited at all times by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which tested Saunders on 30 August.

“Also, I will recommend to the WBO Executive Committee that Saunders receives a six month suspension for his transgression”. But he has to do more. WADA, as mandated by the British Boxing Board of Control. Saunders could have gone through the WBO's appeals process, but based on the sanctioning body's typical response to similar incidents, he likely would have been stripped.

Although Saunders has vacated the belt, he plans legal action against the MA commission.

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A week ago Billy Joe Saunders was still stinging from a punishment from the British Boxing Board of Control, and now not only was he fined by the BBoC, he has failed a VADA drug test, which has see him denied a license to fight in the state of MA, leaving him to vacate his WBO middleweight title.

Billy Joe Saunders underwent testing by both WADA and VADA.

Billy Joe Saunders' reign as the WBO middleweight champion has ended, but the WBO could potentially give Saunders a lengthy suspension after failing a drug test.

The promoter insists it was "not a failed test" because the MSAC, which oversees licencing in Boston, did not follow WADA's rules.

"Unlike the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), the MSAC is a state-appointed governing body and therefore the decision will be appealed and challenged in the Superior Court at the earliest opportunity", Warren's statement continued. After the sample from Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), 29, a 2008 Olympian, came back positive, he said it was because he used "a common decongestant nasal spray".

America's Andrade will instead fight Namibia's little-known Walter Kautondokwa for the vacant title.

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