Anthony Joshua says boxing has a drugs problem ©Getty Images

British Olympic champion Anthony Joshua claims that boxing "clearly has a problem" with doping following Dillian Whyte's failed test.

Joshua was supposed to fight his compatriot this weekend in London but 39-year-old Finn Robert Helenius has taken the match instead.

The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed fight promoter Matchroom that Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random test.

"I don't know how they're going to sort it out or what their solution is to this problem," Joshua told BBC Sport.

"But it clearly has a problem."

The former two-time world heavyweight champion Whyte previously served a two-year ban from 2012 to 2014 for a doping violation.

He tested positive for methylhexaneamine which can increase heart rate and muscle mass.

Dillian Whyte, centre, was supposed to fight Anthony Joshua this weekend but has been replaced after failing a drugs test ©Getty Images
Dillian Whyte, centre, was supposed to fight Anthony Joshua this weekend but has been replaced after failing a drugs test ©Getty Images

However, in 2019 he was cleared by UK Anti-Doping as it ruled that the levels in his sample were "very low" and he was not to blame.

The 35-year-old is determined to clear his name once again.

"I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me," he said. 

"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.

"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."

It is the third time in 12 months that boxing has faced questions on its anti-doping protocols.

In October last year, an all-British bout between Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jr was cancelled after it emerged Benn had failed two voluntary drug tests.

Their countryman Amir Khan was banned for two years after he also tested positive for a banned substance after fighting Kell Brook, also of Britain, in February 2022.

In its latest report, UKAD carried out 213 in-competition tests and 133 out-of-competition tests on fighters connected to the British Boxing Board of Control.