LONDON • Tyson Fury's boxing licence has been suspended pending further investigation into "anti-doping and medical issues", the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed.
The British boxer recently withdrew from a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko for the second time after being declared "medically unfit" and courted more controversy after it was reported he had tested positive for cocaine.
The British Boxing Board of Control discussed removing his licence on Wednesday and has now confirmed that it has been suspended.
Fury voluntarily vacated his World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association heavyweight titles on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old said in a statement: "I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring but I'm unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next-in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer."
Fury upset the odds by beating the Ukrainian Klitschko in November last year, also claiming the International Boxing Federation belt, but he has yet to honour a rematch, twice pulling out.
He said: "I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko."
Fury recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he had been taking cocaine to help with depression and he will now seek medical care.
His promoter, Hennessy Sports, said: "This will also allow him the time and space to fully recover from his present condition without any undue pressure and with the expert medical attention he requires and his close family support."
Peter Fury, Tyson's uncle and trainer, said: "Tyson will be back stronger from this and I will make sure Tyson not only comes back, but will reclaim what's rightfully his."
The move looks set to hand Klitschko and Anthony Joshua the chance to fight for the vacant heavyweight titles. Negotiations are ongoing between Klitschko and Joshua, with promoter Eddie Hearn hoping to get the fight on in December.
Another British boxer, Amir Khan, was also in a spot of bother after an e-mail that he sent to the wrong address almost wrecked his chances of challenging for the World Boxing Council welterweight title next year.
He was dropped from top spot in the rankings for failing to sign up to a new random drug-testing programme - Clean Boxing Programme - by the deadline of Tuesday. Khan, who hopes to return to action in March after hand surgery, had been the No. 1 welterweight, which guaranteed him a shot at the title, held by Danny Garcia, who beat him in 2012.
The former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion said that he had sent his forms to a wrong email address, but spoke before the deadline to Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC president, who assured him that his ranking would be restored when he had completed the correct paperwork.
That was filed on Wednesday.
"I spoke to Mauricio and he told me I would not lose my No. 1 spot, it is all sorted out now," Khan said. "I'm a clean fighter, I'm happy being tested twice a day."
THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON