WBC reinstates Dillian Whyte as mandatory heavyweight title challenger
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has been reinstated as the mandatory challenger for the WBC title, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday.
The news comes less than a week after United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) cleared Whyte for testing positive of a banned substance. That announcement came on Friday, the day before Whyte’s unanimous decision over Mariusz Wach on the undercard of the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch.
Whyte (27-1, 18 knockouts), who is ranked No. 5 by The Ring, made headlines on June 17, when UKAD announced he tested positive for Dianabol. Whyte was still allowed to face previously-unbeaten Oscar Rivas on July 20 in his hometown of London, overcoming a knockdown in round nine to win by unanimous decision.
Despite the win over Rivas, the WBC removed Whyte from their rankings on July 30, suspending his recognition of interim titleholder, pending the outcome of their own investigation. Whyte had been the mandatory challenger to face titleholder Deontay Wilder.
In a bizarre twist though, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) informed both Whyte and Rivas on Aug. 1 that tests administered before and after the fight for banned substances came back negative.
The WBC launched their own investigation, hiring two independent consultants to gather evidence. After completing their investigation and in conjunction with the findings by the UKAD, “the WBC found that there was no sufficient or conclusive evidence that Whyte intentionally, or even knowingly, ingested a banned substance with the purpose of enhancing his performance in any fashion.”
“In light of the WBC’s own finding and of UKAD’s withdrawal of the claim against Mr. Whyte, the WBC has closed its internal investigation,” the sanctioning body concluded.
The WBC lifted its suspension of Whyte, who is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, and named him mandatory challenger to the WBC title and interim titleholder.
The WBC also ruled that the winner of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight on Dec. 22 in Las Vegas must face Whyte in or about February 2021.