<
>

Alexander Povetkin to have B sample from positive test opened

Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin, who had two title fights scrapped within seven months of each other in 2016 because of failed drug tests, has notified the WBC that he wants his B sample from the latest positive test opened.

The WBC announced on Tuesday that Povetkin, with a witness of his choosing present, will have his B sample opened on Thursday at the UCLA laboratory in Los Angeles.

"The WBC is still investigating the circumstances of Mr. Povetkin's positive test," WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said in making the announcement. "The WBC will issue a final ruling on the matter after it completes its investigation and it receives the B sample anti-doping tests results."

On Dec. 16, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association notified the WBC and Povetkin's team that he had tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug ostarine, which is supposed to build muscles, in a random test conducted on Dec. 6 as part of the WBC's Clean Boxing Program, which VADA oversees.

The positive test caused his vacant WBC interim title bout against former world titleholder Bermane Stiverne on Dec. 17 in Ekaterinburg, Russia, to be canceled. Because of the failed test, the WBC withdrew its sanction of the fight, causing Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) to pull out because the interim title would not be on the line.

Instead, Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs), a 37-year-old native of Russia, faced former French world title challenger Johann Duhaupas (34-4, 21 KOs) and knocked him out in devastating fashion in the sixth round. Russian regulators allowed the fight to take place despite the failed drug test, eliciting condemnation from around the boxing world.

Povetkin was due to challenge full titleholder Deontay Wilder on May 21 in Moscow but that fight was also canceled, less than two weeks beforehand, when Povetkin failed a VADA test for the banned substance meldonium, which he claimed he ingested before the drug was added to the World Anti-Doping Association banned list in January 2016.

The WBC ultimately elected to not punish Povetkin because the amount of the substance in his system was far below the threshold accepted by WADA in an updated notice on the drug published in June.

There remain questions, however, about how Povetkin could have tested negative in random VADA doping tests conducted April 7, 8 and 11 while his April 27 sample -- the A and the B -- was positive for meldonium.