Anthony Joshua calls for doping to be tackled at the root in boxing

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Anthony Joshua has acknowledged there is a doping problem in boxing but is unsure whether longer bans are the best solution for a cleaner sport. Joshua was set to fight old rival Dillian Whyte at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, but Whyte had to be pulled from the bout after “adverse analytical findings” were discovered in his doping test by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and he now aims to prove his innocence. It saw 39-year-old Robert Helenius drafted in as a last-minute opponent but the elephant in the room for Joshua’s latest fight week is the worrying trend of positive tests in the sport. During the past 18 months British duo Amir Khan and Conor Benn have failed drugs test and while Benn’s suspension was lifted last month, pending an appeal by UK Anti-Doping, it adds to the long list of boxers to fail tests with Tyson Fury and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvaraz previously serving suspensions. Joshua reflected on the darker side of the sport ahead of this weekend’s fight with Helenius and says targeting local gyms would help get to the root of the problem.

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