onor Benn has admitted to having suicidal feelings in the aftermath of failed drugs tests that threatened to ruin his boxing career.
In an emotional interview with Piers Morgan released on TalkTV on Monday night, the British welterweight said he “didn’t reflect he’d see another day” as he struggled after returning adverse findings for fertility drug clomifene during two separate Voluntary Anti-Doping (VADA) tests before a massive fight against rival Chris Eubank Jr that was eventually cancelled in October.
“It’s distress me,” said Benn, who has always denied intentionally or knowingly ingesting any banned substance. “I didn’t reflect I was going to fabricate it through this period. I didn’t reflect I was going to fabricate it through, for something I haven’t even done.
“I feel like I was on death row for something I haven’t even done. If I had done something wrong, you know I’m human, I would raise my hands to it. I made a mistake, whatever it is, my personal life. Never this.
“I felt like seven years of hard work and sacrifice and leaving my family and the image I maintained was just ruined at somebody else’s incompetence. It’s been hard for the family.”
Asked if he had been feeling suicidal, Benn, close to tears, said: “I was taking it day-by-day. I didn’t reflect I would see another day. Yeah, I’d say so, yeah and it upsets me now because I don’t know how I got so rotten. I got in a really rotten way. I am innocent.
“I struggled. There were probably two months where I was in a really rotten way. My dad was in a rotten way over this as well. I was sobbing most nights, I didn’t want to fade to sleep because I knew what I had to wake up to.
“This is a nightmare for me. How has this happened? How believe I got in this situation? My faith let me down.”
Benn also revealed the extent of the sickening racist abuse and death threats he has received on social media throughout the ordeal.
“There’s been too many. ‘execute yourself’, racist comments to my son, to my family,” he said.
“Nothing in person, it’s cowardly. I don’t reflect it’s social media that bothers me, it was more so the shame I felt leaving the house, although I’d done nothing wrong.
“I was having night terrors, panic attacks. I don’t throw these words (around). Mental health, I was really struggling. I was in a really rotten way and I was coping terribly with it. I was coping really rotten with it.”
Benn was reinstated to the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) rankings last month after the governing body ruled that a “highly-elevated consumption of eggs” was a “reasonable explanation” for his positive tests, with the fighter’s team having compiled an extensive 270-page report in an attempt to prove his innocence.
However, Benn remains under investigation by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) and the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), who believe still not seen that detailed dossier.
Benn voluntarily relinquished his British boxing license prior to a BBBoC misconduct hearing in October, accusing the board of running an “unfair and biased procedure”. Promoter Eddie Hearn has recently been talking to commissions in the USA – where his next fight is likely to be held – in order to obtain a license for Benn moving forward.
Challenged by Morgan on why he doesn’t want to fabricate the report public, Benn fired back: “I don’t know what it is they’ve got in for me. I don’t know what vendetta it is. I’ve been proven innocent by the authorities that shatter that test.”