Tyson Fury failed to turn up for his UK Anti-Doping hearing on Monday, the agency has confirmed.
Athletes accused of anti-doping rule violations do not have to attend hearings in person but the 29-year-old former world heavyweight champion was expected at UKAD’s London headquarters on Monday morning.
Members of the tribunal were sent home after 3pm but UKAD would not say if the hearing officially started or not.
The boxer’s camp has not responded to attempts to ask why he did not show up or if he intends to attend on Tuesday.
The Manchester-born fighter, however, has made several posts on his social media sites in the last 24 hours, including video from Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford and a verse from the Bible: “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed...”
Fury and his cousin and fellow heavyweight Hughie, 23, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in February 2015.
The pair, however, were not charged by UKAD until June 2016, by which time Tyson Fury had beaten Wladimir Klitschko. A rematch with the Ukrainian was scheduled for July 2016 but Fury postponed the fight, citing a sprained ankle, on the same day the UKAD charge was announced.
Both Hughie and Tyson Fury have strongly denied the nandrolone charge, claiming the positive was a result of eating wild boar that had not been castrated — a defence similar to the one used by cycling star Alberto Contador when he tested positive for a steroid at the 2010 Tour de France.
The Fury case has been complicated by several other factors, though, as Tyson Fury failed a test for cocaine in September 2016 and later admitted using the recreational drug to deal with depression related to his injury and UKAD problems.
Having already postponed another Klitschko rematch date and facing the prospect of having his titles stripped from him, Fury relinquished his belts on October 12. A day later, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) suspended his licence and the Manchester-born fighter’s career has been in limbo ever since.
Returns to training and possible fights have come and gone, and hearings with the BBBoC and UKAD have been scheduled and adjourned, with an anti-doping tribunal halted in August after just one day because one of the lawyers involved had a conflict of interest.
There is also the issue of Tyson Fury, who has not fought since that remarkable win over Klitschko more than two years ago, refusing a drugs test in September 2016 — a serious offence, if proven, as it would count as a positive.
Given all of this, nobody was predicting a speedy decision even before Monday’s false start, as the panel was set to hear evidence for at least two days before retiring to deliberate and write their decision.
That process usually takes a few weeks, which would push the verdict back until January, but Fury’s no-show on Monday has only thrown cast further doubt on when he will be allowed to resume his career.