Fury receives backdated 2-year doping ban, free to box again

FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko and Britain's Tyson Fury, right, exchange blows in a world heavyweight title fight as Fury wins Klitschko's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, western Germany. It is announced Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017, that Tyson Fury is free to box again after receiving a backdated two-year ban for an anti-doping violation. Fury has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, FILE)

Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is free to box again after receiving a backdated two-year doping ban

LONDON — Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury accepted a backdated two-year doping ban on Tuesday, freeing him to fight again if he regains his boxing license.

Fury and his cousin, Hughie, had elevated levels of nandrolone in urine samples provided after fights in February 2015, UK Anti-Doping said. The bans were backdated to Dec. 13, 2015, and expired at midnight on Tuesday.

Both boxers said they "never knowingly or deliberately committed any anti-doping rule violation." They said they were willing to come to a compromise agreement with UKAD.

"Hughie and I have maintained our innocence from day one," Tyson Fury said in a statement released by his promoter, "and we're now happy that it has finally been settled with UKAD and that we can move forward knowing that we'll not be labelled drug cheats.

"I can now put the nightmare of the last two years behind me."

Tyson Fury will need to reapply for his boxing license, which was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control last year over separate incidents of drug use and medical issues. He has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

UKAD said that result has not been disqualified because he hadn't committed an anti-doping violation since February 2015.

A charge against Tyson Fury for failing to provide a sample in September 2016 was withdrawn by UKAD.

Fury responded to UKAD's announcement by posting a video on Twitter alongside the words "Guess who's back?" He also called out WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua, writing: "Where you at boy? I'm coming for you."

Hughie Fury lost on points to WBO champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand in September in his first shot at a world title.

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