14th August 2018

Commonwealth Boxing Council refutes Liam Cameron corruption claims

The Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) has refuted claims made by Liam Cameron suggesting that corruption played a part in its decision to strip him of his commonwealth middleweight title. Cameron returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) on 27 April, when he fought Nicky Jenman. It was initially scheduled as a title fight, however the CBC clarified that this status was withdrawn, as Jenman failed to make weight.

Cameron won the commonwealth middleweight title on 13 October last year and his doping hearing is scheduled for 3 October. “Even if he is cleared, only a promotor can put on a match”, said Simon Block, Secretary of the CBC. “Therefore, the earliest a title defence could take place is at the end of this year, or next year”.

Block explained that the CBC made Cameron an offer to vacate his title, however he refused (see below). As such, a sub-committee of the Directors of the CBC decided that the title should be vacated. Permission was given for Elliot Matthews to fight Abolaji Rasheed in London on 29 September. 

Block said that a match between Cameron and Matthews was being put together before Cameron’s provisional suspension by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC). “I knew about that because I spoke to Dennis Hobson [Cameron’s promotor] about it”, he said.

‘In the event of the Champion failing to defend the title as laid down by the Board the title may be declared vacant and the Board may nominate two contenders for the vacant title’, reads Article 2.5 of the CBC Rules. ‘The obligation on meeting a defence requirement lies with the Champion’. 

“The Champion had an obligation to defend by the end of June 2018”, said Block. “We would have been extremely unlikely to have penalised him as a result of his failure to defend through no fault of his own – i.e. the challenger failing to make the weight. Only if he had unreasonably refused to defend subsequently against Elliot Matthews or any other approved challenger with whom terms had been agreed, then that Rule might have been invoked, even if he had not failed a doping test.”

‘When a Champion’s licence to box is suspended by his licencing authority, regardless of whether or not that authority is a member of the Commonwealth Boxing Council, the Council in its absolute but reasonable judgement shall have the power to declare vacant the Championship of the relevant weight division, having regard to the length of any such suspension period or, if no final date is determined, the likely length of such suspension period’, reads Article 2.10(e) of the same Rules.

“In other circumstances, we might be prepared to give him [Cameron] more time”, continued Block. “However, in doping cases, strict liability applies to the athlete to show how a prohibited substance ended up in their sample. As a hearing date has been set, this means that Cameron’s B sample has confirmed the AAF, or that he has waived the right to have his B sample analysed, which means that he accepts the AAF.” 

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