Q&A: The key questions you might be asking after Tyson Fury is cleared for ring return

Tyson Fury, the former Irish heavyweight title holder, has been cleared to return to the ring after a compromise on his positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone was reached with UK Anti-Doping.

He received a two-year ban which has been backdated to begin in December 2015, meaning he can bid to reclaim the world heavyweight title.

Here, we take a look at the key questions surrounding the case.

How did we get here?

Tyson Fury and his cousin Hughie tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in February 2015, but were not charged by UKAD until June 2016, by which time Tyson Fury had beaten Wladimir Klitschko to become undisputed world champion. The Furys strongly denied the nandrolone charge, claiming the positive was a result of eating wild boar that had not been castrated. UKAD sought the four-year ban that nandrolone carries, while the Furys claimed they had done nothing wrong and should be cleared. A compromise was reached which lets both men resume their careers. UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said the delay over charging the Furys was a result of the complexities of proving nandrolone abuse, but she denied the compromise was a cop-out. She admitted, though, that financial factors had affected the organisation’s thinking on whether to push for a four-year ban.

What is next for Tyson Fury? He clearly doesn’t look fit

His first step is to get his licence back from the British Boxing Board of Control, without which he cannot fight. He will also need time to get back into fighting shape, having made no secret of his weight struggles since his last bout in November 2015. He has been branded "fat" by Anthony Joshua after his weight ballooned to 25 stone. However, Fury has played up to his image as the antithesis of the sculpted Joshua and has insisted shedding the weight will not be a problem.

When should we expect him to fight next?

Hughie Fury is looking at a February return and Tyson is likely to be in action before the summer. He greeted Tuesday’s news by calling out Joshua again, but that fight will have to wait until 2019, according to most experts. He is unlikely to return at world title level and will probably need two or three fights before he can think about challenging the unified WBA, IBF and IBO champion.

Have any other fighters spent so long sidelined and then come back to reclaim former glories?

There are plenty of high-profile examples. Mike Tyson spent three years in prison for rape before returning to the ring and winning the WBC and then WBA heavyweight titles by beating Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon respectively. Muhammad Ali did not fight between the ages of 25 and almost 29 after refusing to be drafted into the United States military and subsequently being denied a boxing licence.


KEYWORDS: Boxing, Tyson Fury

 

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