- Whyte and AJ have a long-running rivalry, with Whyte defeating Joshua in the amateur ranks prior to winning an Olympic gold medal at London 2012
- DW says he wishes to avoid ‘trial by media’
The duo’s heavyweight bout, which had been scheduled to take place at London‘s o2 Arena next Saturday was scrapped after a routine anti-doping test returned ‘adverse analytical findings’.
Whyte has now broken his silence following the news, protesting his innocence and claiming
Taking to Twitter with a statement addressing the test, the 35-year-old boxer said: ‘I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me. I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it.
‘I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken,’ he continued.
‘I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.
‘I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.
‘This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time I will again prove that I am completely innocent,’ he continued.
Adding: ‘In the meantime all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.’
The cancellation of the fight is set to scupper Joshua‘s future plans, with the Whyte bout positioned as a stepping stone ahead of a proposed $60million fight against American Deontay Wilder in December.
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association said the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control had been informed of the result of the ‘random anti-doping protocol’.
The pair have a long-running rivalry, with Whyte defeating Joshua in the amateur ranks prior to winning an Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
The tables were turned when the pair went professional, with Joshua winning against Whyte during a seventh-round stoppage at a 2015 British heavyweight bout.