Anthony Joshua's camp looks for new opponent after Miller denied licence

Matchroom is pursuing a new opponent for Anthony Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title defence on 1 June after Jarrell Miller was denied a licence over an “adverse finding” in a drug-testing sample.

Both camps confirmed the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) had informed them that Miller had returned the results from a test on 20 March. Miller retains the right to request a further sample and to reapply for a licence for the fight at Madison Square Garden.

Miller, who is undefeated in 24 fights, was due to contest the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles in Joshua’s first bout in the US. Miller’s adverse finding is reported to be for GW1516, a metabolic modulator also known as cardarine and endurobol.

Miller is likely to face a hearing before the New York State Athletic Commission to decide whether he will be allowed to fight, but in the mean time Matchroom are considering their options.

“The plan is for Anthony Joshua to carry on training for 1 June at Madison Square Garden,” Matchroom’s chief executive Frank Smith told PA Sport.

“We found out late last night so aren’t going to comment on him but we’re looking at other potential opponents and we’ll share details when we know more. There are a lot of discussions going on and we’ve got just under seven weeks to find suitable replacements.

Dillian Whyte appears unlikely to step in if Miller is unable to fight, as he is set to be involved in a separate pay-per-view fight in July. Luis Ortiz and Michael Hunter are reportedly potential replacements for Miller.

“Dillian’s plan is to fight in July so I’m not sure he’s one of the proposed names,” Smith said. “It’s very important that [Anthony] carries on with his US debut. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve already sold 15,000 tickets for the event.”

Anthony Joshua: ‘I’m going to strip Jarrell Miller of his soul’ – video

Miller’s camp, Salita Promotions, cknowledged the adverse finding on Twitter, saying: “We are in the process of obtaining further information about Vada’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation. In the meantime Jarrell continues to train for his fight against Anthony Joshua.”

Brooklyn-born Miller was kickboxing in 2014 when he tested positive for methylhexaneamine in a urine sample and was suspended for nine months by the California SAC.

During their promotional tour for the fight, Miller revealed that both fighters had agreed to between 10 and 12 weeks of drug testing in the build-up to the bout. Joshua, during the London leg of the tour, said: “I am on [drug testing scheme] Adams whereabouts, they have to know where I am for an hour every day and could walk in anytime.

“They can turn up any time during the day and that is a lifetime commitment. I have been on that since 2012 and I pay £40,000-a-fight to be tested by Vada two times a week.”

Joshua retained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles when he stopped Alexander Povetkin in September.


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