World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been charged with a doping offence, it has been confirmed.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) revealed the boxer was charged on June 24 after a urine sample taken in February 2015 allegedly showed traces of the banned substance nandrolone.
The heavyweight’s cousin, fellow boxer Hughie Fury, has also been charged. Both men strenuously deny any wrongdoing.
The announcement came after UKAD lifted a suspension on both fighters pending a hearing.
UKAD does not normally reveal if athletes have been suspended until a hearing has taken place.
“In response to public comments made by Tyson and Hughie Fury’s representatives, UK Anti-Doping can confirm that both boxers were charged on June 24 2016 with presence of a prohibited substance,” said the UKAD statement on August 3.
“Mandatory provisional suspensions were imposed pursuant to article 7.9.1 of the UK Anti-Doping rules.
“The UK Anti-Doping Rules allow athletes to challenge the imposition of a provisional suspension and the independent National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) today lifted the athletes’ suspensions, pending full determination of the charges. These charges will be heard at a hearing before the NADP in due course.
“UK Anti-Doping will not comment further on the case until due legal process has been completed.”
Fury’s legal team said the result of tests on the samples in March and May 2015 were contradictory.
They said Team Fury had issued proceedings in the High Court to sue UK Anti-Doping.
“The two boxers strenuously deny taking any performance-enhancing drugs,” said lawyer Lewis Power.
“However, during the last five weeks, leaks about these charges have appeared in the press and both boxers have been the targets of continual abusive language on Twitter.”
Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid which is produced naturally in the human body in tiny amounts.
It can improve an athlete’s ability to train harder, reduces tiredness, meaning athletes can recover quicker from a hard training session, and also helps the body to build muscle by producing more protein, which aids the development of muscle tissue.
Fury was due to fight a rematch against Wladimir Klitschko on July 9 but the fight was postponed after the champion suffered an ankle injury in training.
The Morecambe-based boxer beat Klitschko to win the Unified Heavyweight Championship in November 2015.
The rematch has been tentatively rescheduled for October 29 at the Manchester Arena.
No date for the hearing has been set.
Tyson’s uncle and trainer Peter Fury wrote on Twitter:
“To all our fans. Ukad suspension Lifted & @Tyson_Fury @hughiefury can & will be fighting with full go ahead from tribunal. Truth!! Amen.
“We want all out in open advised my legal team to out as much as possible. The world can view this scam for what it really is.
“People need & should respect findings of any tribunal. Remember they hear the real facts & not you the speculator.”
Boxing promoter Frank Warren tweeted: “Congratulations to @Tyson_Fury & @hughiefury, they will now have their day in court after the ridiculous situation UKAD put them in!”