(Reuters) - British heavyweight Dillian Whyte has been reinstated as WBC interim champion and will get a mandatory shot at the title currently held by Deontay Wilder, the WBC said on Wednesday.
The decision comes five days after the UK Anti-Doping agency (UKAD) withdrew a charge against the 31-year-old Whyte for a doping violation and follows a WBC investigation.
"In light of the WBC's own finding and of UKAD's withdrawal of the claim against Mr. Whyte, the WBC has closed its internal investigation," the WBC said in a statement here.
The WBC said it found no sufficient or conclusive evidence that Whyte intentionally took a banned substance with the aim of enhancing his performance.
“The WBC is hereby lifting its provisional suspension and confirming its recognition of Mr Whyte as WBC Interim World Heavyweight Champion,” the statement added.
Whyte won the title on July 20 by beating Colombian Oscar Rivas but the WBC provisionally suspended recognition of his status as interim champion 10 days later over an irregular urine sample he had provided out-of-competition in June.
UKAD had charged Whyte for a doping violation as his sample before the fight “indicated the presence of two metabolites of a steroid” but on Friday it cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The agency said there was nothing in Whyte’s “longitudinal urinary profile” to suggest he used steroids.
Wilder is set for a rematch with mandatory challenger Briton Tyson Fury in February after their last clash ended in a draw.
Whyte will become the mandatory challenger after that fight, with the incumbent WBC champion to face Whyte by February 2021.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris
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