This Boxer Failed a Drug Test Because He Ate Too Many Eggs - Men's Health Magazine Australia

This Boxer Failed a Drug Test Because He Ate Too Many Eggs

You can’t beat the nutrient-rich, protein-packed flavour of eggs. But you might want to limit your intake, lest you end up like Conor Benn, who ate so many eggs he failed a drug test.

Conor Benn was rapidly working his way up the ranks of boxing’s welterweight division before a doping scandal in late 2022 nearly derailed his career. The 26-year-old returned a urine sample that contained traces of Clomiphene, a banned fertility drug that increases testosterone levels. But now Benn has been cleared of doping after the positive test was attributed to the boxer’s “documented and highly-elevated consumption of eggs”.

Benn is the son of former middleweight world champion boxer Nigel Benn and has an untarnished record in professional bouts. With 21 wins, 14 by knockout, and zero losses. He’s been ranked as high as eighth in boxing’s welterweight division and was set to face off against Chris Eubank Jr in October of last year before his failed drug test. Which left his career hanging in the balance.

Benn was quick to deny the doping allegations through a statement released on Instagram. “I am still completely shocked and surprised by this and it has been a tough couple of days,” he said. “My immediate focus is on clearing my name because I am a clean athlete.” He remained confident that the truth would come out. And now, it has.

The World Boxing Council (WBC) announced today that it would reinstate Benn in their rankings. It comes after an internal investigation found that there was “no conclusive evidence that Benn engaged in intentional or knowing ingestion of Clomiphene.” This was after the WBC ordered Benn to submit a painstaking summary of what he consumed during the testing period. Including everything from his meal plan to his supplement regime.

It seems that one thing in Benn’s meal plan stood out, his extensive egg consumption. The WBC consulted an expert nutritionist to determine if Benn’s penchant for eggs could have caused a false positive result. They came to the conclusion that the eggs had in fact “raised a reasonable explanation for the adverse finding.”

Benn isn’t out of the woods yet. Regardless of the WBC’s ruling, he’s still being investigated by UK Anti-Doping and the British Boxing Board of Control, who apparently aren’t satisfied with the egg explanation. That means that Benn still won’t have a license to fight inside the UK. For now, his nascent career is still on hold.

So just how does eating plenty of eggs lead to a failed drug test? Well, while it is highly illegal, there have been cases of farmer’s giving their hens clomiphene (remember it’s a fertility drug) to increase their laying rates. Studies have found that as a result, traces of clomiphene can show up in egg tissue. And by extension – in our system if we were to consume a contaminated egg. Although Benn must be eating a fanciful portion of poultry to trigger a positive result. Anti-doping agencies are currently working to remedy this issue over concerns for “the potential for false positives caused by ingestion of contaminated food”.

Just because eggs were nearly the cause of Benn’s downfall, it doesn’t mean you should stop eating them. And neither should he. Benn probably just ate a bad batch. Eggs that aren’t contaminated with banned substances are super nutritious and are a fantastic source of protein for those looking to improve their fitness.

Eggs are one of the most versatile foods. You can incorporate them into a sandwich, salad, side dish or simply have them by themselves in whatever style you prefer (sunny side up is hard to beat). They’re a good source of vitamin d, choline, omega-3’s, and antioxidants. And they also lower the risk of heart disease, promote healthy aging and can improve mental health. There’s clearly a reason why Benn eats so many!

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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