Dillian Whyte’s rematch with Anthony Joshua is off following a third career failed drug test.
The long-time rivals were due to renew their 14-year-long feud in a tasty domestic dust-up at the O2 Arena next Saturday.
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But an “adverse analytical finding” in one of Whyte’s recent voluntary drug tests has laid waste to the fight.
A Matchroom Boxing statement read: “Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.
“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled, and a full investigation will be conducted.
“Further information on the event will follow.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn quickly took to Twitter after news of Whyte’s potential doping violation became public.
The Matchroom chief tweeted: “BREAKING. more updates to follow shortly.”
Neither Whyte nor Joshua have reacted to the news of their rematch being scrapped.
The substance Whyte tested positive for is currently unknown.
But SunSport understands TWO failed tests came back from VADA.
If they haven’t already, the B-samples for both failed tests will also be examined by VADA.
Former WBC heavyweight title challenger Whyte is no stranger to anti-doping controversies.
Whyte, 35, tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine after his 2012 victory over Sandor Balogh.
The substance found its way into Whyte’s system through a banned and since discontinued pre-workout supplement, which landed him a two-year suspension.
His second anti-doping violation occurred ahead of his interim WBC heavyweight title fight with Oscar Rivas in 2019.
One of his pre-fight tests returned traces of the banned anabolic steroid Dianabol.
But he was cleared by UKAD of intentionally taking the performance-enhancing drug due to the “extremely low” levels of the substance found in his system.
Former unified heavyweight champion Joshua was looking to use Whyte as a stepping stone for a long-awaited grudge match with Deontay Wilder.
And SunSport understands Matchroom will try to draft in a late replacement to keep their poster boy on the card.
It’s understood DAZN will make the fight a non-pay-per-view bout if a last-minute replacement is successfully found.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.