Povetkin Fails Drug Test, Wilder Fight Postponed

By Robert Ecksel on May 13, 2016
Povetkin Fails Drug Test, Wilder Fight Postponed
"I had worked very hard to prepare myself," said Wilder, "for this important title defense."

The sport has taken steps to remedy the problem, but chemists are always one step ahead, when they’re not two or three steps ahead…

Boxing has a problem. The problem is not fighters fighting at catchweights, as problematic as that might be. It’s that a large percentage of fighters appear to be juicing.

The sport has taken steps to remedy the problem, but chemists are always one step ahead, when they’re not two or three steps ahead.

The latest casualty, or latest scofflaw, of the use of performance enhancing drugs is the “Russian Vityaz,” otherwise known as Alexander Povetkin.

The May 21 fight at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia, between former WBA World heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs), from Chekhov, Russia, and WBC World heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs), the undefeated Bronze Bomber from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been postponed.

That is a pity. What it is not is surprising.

Povetkin and Wilder both agreed to the stipulations of the WBC Clean Boxing Program, where they would be tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) in advance of the big fight. Unfortunately Povetkin, according to VADA, failed the drug test that was administered on April 27. His “A” sample revealed traces of meldonium, a substance that was banned on January 1 of this year.

According to TASS, a Russian news agency, Povetkin last used the formula in September 2015.

VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman informed both camps and the WBC of the positive test.

“This letter is to advise you that the ‘A’ sample urine specimen number 3969608 collected from Alexander Povetkin on April 27, 2016 in Chekhov, Russia through his participation in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) program has been analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, stimulants and drugs of abuse,” she wrote. “The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains meldonium.

“Mr. Povetkin has the right to promptly request analysis of the ‘B’ sample at his expense. Please be aware that VADA does not adjudicate results nor determine whether sanctions are appropriate. As with all results, adverse findings are reported to the relevant commission(s) who may make such determinations.”

Meldonium is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a metabolic modulator and was the drug of choice for tennis star Maria Sharapova, who was suspended after meldonium was found in her system.

Povetkin’s promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky of Mir Boksa, told TASS, “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.”

That’s the bad news. The good news, such as it is, is that “the meldonium content in Sasha Povtekin’s blood was 70 nanograms,” Ryabinsky tweeted, adding without substantiation, “It seems that politics have intervened in boxing.”

The fight has been much anticipated. Wilder is one of the most protected heavyweight champions in history, if not the most protected heavyweight champion in history, and Povetkin, at least on paper, posed a real threat.

That threat, however, is on the back burner.

Meldonium belongs to the S4 class of banned substances on the WADA blacklist, which includes hormones as well as metabolic modulators.

WADA announced on April 13 that the concentration of less than one microgram of Meldonium in an athlete’s body was acceptable, which suggests that more than one microgram was found swimming in Povetkin’s bloodstream.

Melondium is available throughout Russia without a doctor’s prescription. TASS reports that almost 300 athletes have tested positive for meldonium and at least 31 Russian athletes are suspected of using the prohibited formula.

Lou DiBella, Wilder’s promoter of record, said, “It’s extremely upsetting and disappointing and while I am angry, I am certainly not shocked. We’ll make a more detailed statement and figure things out when we discuss this among ourselves and with the WBC. We haven’t had enough time to digest this. We’ll have more to say later.”

Wilder is understandably disappointed.

“I’m very disappointed that due to Povetkin’s failed drug test the fight is not going to happen on May 21 in Moscow,” he said. “I had worked very hard to prepare myself for this important title defense, spending the last two weeks training in England to get accustomed to fighting in Europe. I wanted to give the fans a great show, but we understand the WBC’s position that the fight occur on an even playing field.”

Wilder will return home to plot his next move.

“This is a huge disappointment and a setback to my goals in boxing,” he added. “I want to be an active heavyweight champion and it is still my goal to collect all the belts and become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”

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  1. KB 12:36pm, 05/15/2016

    I’ll be interested in how Briggs tests out, though I sense the outcome of his fight with Drago has already been determined

  2. KB 12:32pm, 05/15/2016

    Smoke screening is good way to put it. I have heard of using pot to mask other drugs, but never one’s own piss.  Ugh.

    Nice “protein” shakes also work wonders.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:23pm, 05/15/2016

    @KB-JJM was smoke screening and misdirecting with that hyperbaric chamber BS prior to the Pacman fight….he’s a dirty dog and his fanaticos love him all the more for it!

  4. kb 12:09pm, 05/15/2016

    Actually, the only guy I ever saw who really seemed to have all of the signs was JJM just before he KOd Pac.  His trunk and chest were massive, and he did have some pimples. Can’t comment on the rage part or the size of his——. . But the way he put Pac down with the first knockdown was with pure strength. Something did not look right in that one.

    I have seen guys use roids in weight lifting and baldness seems to be a sign but I just don’t know and I am not about ask.. In the old days—-80’s—pro football players used it like it was mandatory. We now know where that led. The use of anabolic steroids can sometimes be the difference between getting cut or getting a contract It’s dangerous but getting the edge when a lot is at stake is why they used/use it. I have used Creatine for PL which is legal but I think it is banned for boxers. My doctors have told me to stop using it.

    Even at my advanced age, I still look for legal supplements things that can enhance my strength while not having a negative health impact.

  5. Eric 11:54am, 05/15/2016

    KN…Anthony Joshua definitely looks like a poster boy for steroid usage.

  6. Eric 11:52am, 05/15/2016

    Irish…There was a German Shepherd that recently saved his little master from a rattler. The dog took some hits from the snake but seems to be recovering nicely. Dogs are indeed man’s best friend, and the German Shepherd is definitely one of the finest breeds around.

  7. KN 11:50am, 05/15/2016

    Eric, I think you need to look at Povtkin’s musculature and vascularity. He always had monster shoulders, but the muscles and viens are a bit new.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:27am, 05/15/2016

    Eric-Thought for a minute that you were shipped off to the Gulag. This might interest you…just recently a lady walking her dogs out here was attacked and damn near killed by a herd of Javelinas that came charging up out of a wash. Really tore up her and her dogs. These little buggers are hell on wheels and more’s the pity for any Rattlers that get in their way too (not sure they eat them though).

  9. Eric 07:41am, 05/15/2016

    I used to wonder about Alex Ramos back in the day. One of the side effects of steroid usage is acne on the body. Ramos had a pretty bad case of what appeared to be acne on his chest.

  10. SamuraiSam 11:39am, 05/14/2016

    The author has his math & measurements all wrong when he writes, “...which suggests that more than one microgram was found swimming in Povetkin’s bloodstream.”

    If WADA says that a concentration of less than one microgram of Meldonium in an athlete’s body is acceptable, then Povetkin should be okay (assuming Ryabinsky is telling the truth about there being 70 nanograms found in Povetkin’s blood).

    1000 nanograms = 1.0 microgram.  Therefore, 70 nanograms = 0.07 micrograms, which falls within the WADA limits. 

    ‘Nuff said.  The show must go on.

  11. no10Count 10:32am, 05/14/2016

    LOL Irish - like the comment and agree - F that Ref.
    Such a POS home cooked job that fight was.  Worse this year.

    And is the fight called off?

  12. Nick Fury 07:26am, 05/14/2016

    Tyson Fury ROCKS!!!!

  13. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:16am, 05/14/2016

    Ref kicks Dallas in nutz administers eight count….who needs meldonium.

  14. Rick James 04:33am, 05/14/2016

    Cocaine is a helluva drug.

  15. BlairBlair 08:56pm, 05/13/2016

    Boxing has a problem with drugs….but it isn’t Meldonium. Check out the data on this substance and you will find that it’s debatable whether it measurably enhances anything (when you look at evidence…not the advertising garb from the manufacturer). It’s probably because of it’s availability (over the counter) and up until recently, it’s acceptance within many sporting codes that it has been surfacing lately. Lets be clear…caffeine has more scientific tests as a PED (it’s a drug), than Meldonium. This doesn’t excuse it’s use, but a little perspective is a good thing when you want to enact change.

  16. koolz 07:50pm, 05/13/2016

    70 nano grams everyone Panick!

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