Tyson Fury fired a warning to Anthony Joshua after reaching a compromise deal with UK Anti-Doping which has paved the way for his return to the ring.
Fury has been cleared to fight again immediately after accepting a two-year ban, backdated to December 2015, for his positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone.
It means Fury, who has returned to training and faced the UKAD hearing alongside cousin Hughie, can challenge for Joshua’s unified WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles, assuming he gets his licence back from the British Boxing Board of Control.
But, with nandrolone normally carrying a four-year suspension, the deal has left UKAD open to accusations that it took the easy way out and has certainly highlighted its financial constraints.
Those are not concerns for Fury, though, who wrote in a Twitter message to Joshua: “Where you at boy? I’m coming for you punk.”
The 29-year-old added: “I’m a fighting man through and through and I’ve never backed down from anyone in my life. I was certainly not going to back down from fighting this dispute.
“Hughie and I have maintained our innocence from day one and we’re now happy that it has finally been settled with UKAD and that we can move forward knowing that we’ll not be labelled drug cheats.
“I can now put the nightmare of the last two years behind me and next year I will be back doing what I do best, better than ever and ready to reclaim the world titles which are rightfully mine. It’s time to get the party started.”
The Furys tested positive for 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 champion.
The pair strongly denied the nandrolone charge, claiming the positive was a result of eating wild boar that had not been castrated.
As part of the compromise deal, UKAD withdrew a charge against Tyson Fury of failure to provide a sample in September 2016.
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead explained the delay over charging the Furys was a result of the complexities of proving nandrolone abuse.
“It’s a really complicated case and our policy allows us to do what we’ve done. We haven’t broken any of our rules,” Sapstead said.
“This isn’t about resources. We have thrown an unprecedented amount of resources at this and have used very eminent and successful lawyers.
“We were prepared to continue with this case no matter what the cost, but in taking everything into consideration, the money element did have to be one side of it. But it was not the full reason.”
The British Boxing Board of Control agreed to the resolution of these proceedings on the basis of backdated two-year bans.
Tyson Fury’s successful WBO international title defence against Romanian Christian Hammer is scratched from his record as a result of the failed test.