Anthony Joshua's would-be opponent will be able to return to boxing on one condition

  • Tom Ward
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Jarrell Miller will be free to apply for a professional boxing license this summer despite currently serving a two-year ban for doping.

The 33-year-old was handed a backdated two-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in July 2020 after the banned substance GW501516 was found in his urine.

It came after he failed multiple drug tests only a few weeks before he was due to fight Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in June 2019.

But it has now emerged that Miller will be eligible to fight again in June but only if he continues to provide negative drug tests through a Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) random drug testing program.

A five member-panel of NSAC voted unanimously to keep Miller under suspension until June 16 at a hearing on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

However, commissioner Anthony A Marnell III also proposed that the American can become immediately eligible for a license on June 17, as long as he meets the criteria.

“The ball is in your court,” Marnell said, in quotes reported by BoxingScene.com.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 19: Jarrell Miller speaks to the media during a press conference at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

“You will serve out the 24 months. It’s 100% on you to determine what you do here.”

Miller told the hearing he had separated from his wife and was forced to sell his house as he could no longer provide for his family despite being a professional kickboxer.

He told the hearing: “I lost my wife. I lost my home. I lost my career.

“Now I’m in court fighting to be with my son. Financially, I am required to pay legal fees. This is bigger than boxing.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller square up during an Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller Press Conference ahead of their fight in June 2019 for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Hilton London Syon Park on February 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“It means being there for my son, for my mother.”

NSAC executive director Jeffrey Mullen expressed some sympathy for the disgraced drugs cheat.

However, he rejected Miller’s request to reduce his suspension by six months, despite his apparent willingness to comply with the commission-approved random testing.

“Jarrell Miller is a gifted fighter,” Mullen added.

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Where was Anthony Joshua born?

“I have great sympathy for him in that has not fought in [nearly] four years. However, he has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in three different jurisdictions.

“He did not follow [the drug testing terms of the suspension]. He was to start the drug testing program. He tried to start, then it was discontinued [after one test].

“He restarted [VADA testing] voluntarily in good faith which was a great move. However, I don’t think it will set a great precedent to reduce his suspension based on the events of the past year.

“If the fighter’s test remains negative, he would be eligible to fight post-June 16, beginning June 16 as long as he remains negative with [VADA] testing program.

“After reviewing the records, I was not coming close to compromising. A deal is a deal. I hope that you become that great fighter and world champion. That would be beautiful. What a story that would be.”

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