October 10, 2018 / 4:28 AM / 7 months ago

Saunders denied licence to fight Andrade in Boston

FILE PHOTO - Boxing - Billy Joe Saunders & Martin Murray Press Conference - The Landmark London, London, Britain - April 24, 2018 Billy Joe Saunders after the press conference Action Images/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - British WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, who failed a doping test in August, has been denied a licence by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to face American Demetrius Andrade in Boston this month.

Saunders had tested positive for oxilofrine in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association test (VADA). The stimulant is banned by VADA while it is prohibited only during competition by World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping.

British media reports said the 29-year-old Saunders could be stripped of the belt he won in 2015 if he fails to get a licence for his scheduled title defence on Oct. 20.

Saunders has denied any wrongdoing in the matter and said that the adverse analytical finding was the result of using a common decongestant nasal spray.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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