The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) determined that it would not issue a license to Billy Joe Saunders for him to defend his WBO World Middleweight title against Demetrius Andrade in Boston on October 20 following the findings of a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). WBO president Francisco ” Valcarcel also confirmed that Saunders has vacated his belt. “BJ Saunders has voluntarily vacated the WBO Middleweight Title, and publicly apologized for his violation of the Massachusetts Athletic Commission’s anti-doping regulations. Therefore, the clash between Demetrius Andrade and Walter Kautondonkwa scheduled for October 20th will now be for the vacant world crown,” Valcarcelwent on to suggest a six-month suspension saying “Also, I will recommend to the WBO Executive Committee that Saunders receives a six-month suspension for his transgression”.
Saunders tested positive for a substance called, the positive test for this substance is what triggered The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to deny a license to Saunders. Oxilofrine is banned only but VADA, which is a voluntary testing agency that was agreed upon in the contract but isn’t mandated by the MSAC or the WBO the substance also isn’t prohibited for out of competition use under the rules of WADA, British testing agency UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control. For these reasons, Saunders will not be allowed to fight in the UK.
Saunders and his promoter Frank Warren maintain the decision to deny him a license and the suspension are both unwarranted as the substance is allowed for out of competition use by all the mandatory testing agencies. Thus they will take legal action against the MSAC, according to the former Middleweight champ and his team The MSAC, in denying him a license refused to properly apply the WADA’s code they are also claiming the MSAC refused to consider submissions from Saunders representative despite being present at the hearing.
If Saunders is serious about pursuing legal action which he seems to be these type cases typically take a considerable amount of time to be heard and adjudicated on.
Legal proceedings will then be issued against the MSAC following the Supreme Court hearing. The MSAC in their refusal to grant a license to Billy-Joe has benefitted his scheduled opponent, Andrade, who hails from nearby Rhode Island and who will now fight for a vacant title against the next ranked Namibian Walter Kautondokwa.