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French heavyweight Yoka sees doping ban upheld

The appeal court confirmed Tuesday the one-year suspension previously imposed on the boxer, Olympic heavyweight champion, for three anti-doping rule violations.

It’s a KO. which Tony Yoka would have done well. The Council of State confirmed Tuesday, August 14, the suspension of a year previously imposed on the boxer.

In its order, made only hours after the hearing held Tuesday morning, the appeal body went in the direction of the penalty pronounced at the end of June by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) against Mr. Yoka , found guilty of three failures, within one year, regarding his whereabouts obligations.

The boxer pleaded “giddiness”

“The lightness of the behavior of Mr. Yoka who, warned sportsman, particularly aware of the importance of doping control, could not ignore from the first warning the consequences of his negligence, does not allow to consider as serious the means drawn from what the sanction of suspension of one year would be disproportionate “, writes the judge of the Council of State in his order.

The defense of one of his lawyers, Guillaume Tapie, who pleaded the morning before the Council of State “administrative negligence” and “giddiness”, was therefore not heard. The appeal concerned an urgent lifting of the penalty pending a decision on the merits. Issue that remains possible.

The pursuit of the “Conquest” of the boxer, which displays the ambition to become the first French world champion among the pros in the heavyweight category, seems more than compromised, at least until the end of June 2019.

In his highly scripted career plan, supported by his partner and broadcaster Canal + with whom he signed in 2017 an exclusive contract estimated between 8 and 10 million euros, Tony Yoka had to walk inexorably to the summits, to register his name in the history of boxing, next to his models, Mohamed Ali or Lennox Lewis.

Three unexpected anti-doping tests missed in one year

But it is on a basic principle that he dropped his guard: the rules of location for doping controls unexpected that apply to all athletes.

The 26-year-old boxer missed three times, in less than a year, from July 2016 to July 2017, the obligation to deliver an address on a slot of one hour a day … and to be there if an anti-doping controller presents himself.

He was sanctioned for two no show – that is to say two absences at the address indicated – in July 2016, before the Rio Olympics, and in September 2016. The third warning, synonymous with the opening of a disciplinary procedure, fell in July 2017, for non-transmission of its location.

The first time, “Tony was (…) on the plane that brought him back from the OJ preparation camp. The second, he admitted, he was not at home, “admitted Me Pericard, one of his lawyers. On the third point, the boxer’s wife, Estelle Mossely, also Olympic champion, transmitted her location a few days too late.

In December, he received a lenient suspension of twelve months suspended, before the French Boxing Federation (FFB), but the AFLD, anxious to enforce the World Anti-Doping Code, had taken

over the case and sentenced the penalty in the World Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“I will take all the consequences,” explained the Olympic champion, before conceding that “being absent from the rings a year or two years, it would be very hard for me,” “a halt”.

Sparring partner to take care

“I’m being told about boxing abroad because it would not be governed by AFLD rules. Me, that does not interest me. I have always said that even if I did not train in France and I was going to seek experience in the United States, I wanted to box in my country, “he said.

His lawyers today say they rely on a decision on the merits. “It’s a rejection of the summary. Now the Council of State must rule on the merits. (…) He can rule quickly. “We have to go to the bottom because I think there are real subjects,” said Pericard. We may have a decision after the end of the sanction but we must go to the bottom of the process. ”

“Now, Tony has a period that is going to be a little complicated, he will have to deal with sports. I know he’s going to be a sparring partner. This is a period that can be short: it will recombine in June next year, we will have to occupy the next six months and after we will be in the approach of return. What is a bit unfortunate, it is for the rest of the “Team Solid” (…) in contract of promotion with Tony. ”

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