DILLIAN WHYTE has issued a statement in response to the news which broke earlier today that a drug test of his was returned with ‘adverse analytical findings’.

Whyte was due to face Anthony Joshua next Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena in a rematch 15 years on from their first contest.

Earlier today, Joshua’s promoter posted on Twitter that the fight was cancelled saying, “Today the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association [VADA} informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.

“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled, and a full investigation will be conducted.

“Further information on the event will follow.”

This afternoon Whyte used Instagram to share his first response.

“l am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me. I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it. I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.

“I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life. I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.

“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.

“This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time, I will again prove that I am completely innocent.

“In the meantime, all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great event.”

The Daily Star’s Chris McKenna tweeted that a last-minute replacement was being sought for Joshua to save his spot in the main event. The undercard is due to feature two other heavyweight contests with Filip Hrgovic facing Demsey McKean and Derek Chisora vs Gerald Washington.