Alexander Povetkin fails drugs test
Heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) has failed a drugs test ahead of his world title fight against American Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs).
The Russian is scheduled to challenge WBC champion Wilder at the Megasport Arena in Moscow on May 21, but Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium and the heavyweight bout is now in doubt.
Meldonium - the same drug found in tennis star Maria Sharapova's sample at the Australian Open - was added to the banned substance list by the World Anti-Doping Agency in September and came into effect on January 1, 2016.
Povetkin's promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky said: "Traces of extremely low concentration of meldonium have been found in his blood. He consumed it in September last year. He has not taken it since January 1. The situation is ambiguous. The blood sample was taken in April this year. We have been in contact with the World Boxing Council, which is to decide if Povetkin's boxing bout against Deontay Wilder will take place or not."
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman issued a statement following Povetkin's positive test.
"The WBC's priority is and will always be safety, fair play and justice. In order to continue to strive for the absolute safety of the boxers and for a just and fair outcome for all parties involved, the WBC is conducting an in-depth investigation of this matter. The WBC will make a public announcement in the very near future concerning the results of its investigation and any appropriate steps that it will take."