Russian boxer Povetkin’s new drug test negative after bout cancelled

A new drug test for Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin came back negative just days after his fight for an interim title was cancelled.

Taken ten days after a positive test cost him a title fight, a new sample given by Povetkin to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) returned a negative result, the head of the World of Boxing promotion company and Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy wrote on Twitter on Friday. 

The new result raised questions over Povetkin’s recent positive drug test. A sample from December 6 was one in a series of negative results, and it was not announced to Povetkin until December 17, just before a scheduled interim title fight against Canadian heavyweight Bermane Stiverne. Povetkin was disqualified and the fight cancelled.

Povetkin fought Johann Duhaupas instead, but without a title at stake, and won with a KO in the sixth round.

READ MORE: Russian boxer Povetkin tests positive, fight with Canadian Stiverne cancelled – WBC

There was a similar situation in May, when VADA returned a positive test for the banned substance meldonium just before Povetkin was to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. That fight was cancelled as well, but Povetkin managed to prove he had taken meldonium before it was added to the list of banned substances, and avoided disqualification.

Povetkin’s opponent-not-to-be Stiverne also failed a drug test back in November, when banned stimulant methylhexaneamine was found in his system. He was fined $75,000 and still allowed to fight Povetkin.

Even if Povetkin proves hes innocence this time around, the scandal is going to chip away at his reputation, sports columnist Alan Moore believes.

“There’s money involved, there’s career involved, and reputation as well. People are going to look very very, let’s say, sideways at Alexander Povetkin from now on, and he will not be known as a good fighter.”

“And it’s a shame, especially if it turns out, as it looks more and more likely, that this issue is a case of very bad testing procedure.”

“It seems to be some confusion, or just maybe some faulty equipment, some problem with storage, it could even be some human error.”

The entire situation may raise questions over the entire testing system, Moore believes.

“And it does smack of double standards,” he concluded.

Povetkin’s team says they are ready for new fights – some of which will likely take place in court, the Russian’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy tweeted.