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Povetkin fails drug test for Stiverne fight

Image: Povetkin fails drug test for Stiverne fight

By Eric Baldwin: Former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) has allegedly failed a drug test for his fight against Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1,21 KOs) for his fight tonight at the Ekaterinburg, Expo, in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The World Boxing Council has withdrawn sanctioning of the Povetkin vs. Stiverne fight. (read Stiverne statment here). Povetkin may face Johann Duhaupas tonight now according to news from Russia.

The fight was supposed to be for the interim WBC heavyweight title. The winner was then to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder. Now it’s unknown what’s going to happen. This is bad news for the career of the 37-year-old Povetkin, because it’s the second time he’s failed a drug test.

The Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency [VADA], which is overseeing the testing for the Povetkin-Stiverne fight, informed the WBC about Povetkin’s failed drug test on Friday, December 16. Povetkin is said to have allegedly tested positive for the banned drug Ostarine. The WBC is going to conduct an investigation of the positive test from the Russian fighter Povetkin, and then make a decision about the outcome of the investigation.

As of now, it’s unknown if the Povetkin-Stiverne fight will still go ahead. If it does, then it appears that the WBC interim will not be on the line. There’s no word yet about whether a second sample will be tested to verify the initial results of the positive test.

For Povetkin, this is the second time that he’s allegedly tested positive for a banned substance.

“The WBC Boxing has been notified by Vada Testing of adverse result of banned substance Ostarine from Alexander Povetkin. Ruling to come soon,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

This is unfortunate, because Povetkin was seen by many boxing fans as the favorite to beat the 38-year-old Stiverne to pick up the interim WBC heavyweight title and then move forward to face Wilder for his title in early 2017. That now does not look like it’s going to happen unless the WBC’s investigation finds error in the testing by VADA by having a second sample tested to clear Povetkin.

Povetkin hasn’t fought since last year in beating Mariusz Wach by a 12th round knockout in November 2015. Povetkin was supposed to have fought Deontay Wilder on May 21 in 2016 in a fight that was going to take place at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia, but the positive test for a banned substance meldonium by Povetkin prevented the fight from taking place.

This was a drug was previously not a banned substance. Povetkin tested negative for meldoniuim on the May 17 test by VADA, according to Wikipedia. However, Wilder suffered a right bicep and hand injury in his win over Chris Arreola last July, and wouldn’t be available to defend his WBC title until 2017. The WBC then ordered Povetkin to fight Stiverne for the interim WBC heavyweight title in the meantime to have an interim champion until Wilder’s injuries healed.

This is really bad luck for the Povetkin vs. Stiverne fight, because it would have picked out a challenger to fight Wilder next year, and given the boxing fans a great fight. If Povetkin is cleared of the positive test, then it’s unknown what happens with him being able to fight for the interim WBC title and getting a crack at Wilder

“The @WBCBoxing has withdrawn sanction of Povetkin-Stiverne due to Povetkin’s failed VADA test 20 hrs before bout. No word on if fight is off,” said Dan Rafael.

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