Povetkin Tests Positive – With the heavyweight title fight between champion Deontay Wilder and Russia’s Alexander Povetkin roughly a week away, a cloud now hangs over the fight. Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that Povetkin has tested positive for meldonium.
Check Rafael’s Twitter account for a slew of his Tweets on the subject.
Two sources with knowledge of test have told ESPN that Povetkin tested positive for meldonium with title fight vs Wilder a week away.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) 13 de mayo de 2016
Meldonium is the same drug that tennis star Maria Sharapova recently tested positive for in what became a major scandal for the five-time grand slam champion.
Meldonium is a drug that improves the blood flow, and it is used legally in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union with a doctor’s prescription. Last year, however, the drug was added to the “official” list of banned substances by VADA. Th group apparently found a higher level of positive tests among athletes than among the general population.
Now, the WBC is the body sanctioning Wilder’s title defense against longtime mandatory challenger Povetkin, but the match looks to be very much in jeopardy. The test that came back positive was administered by VADA, which is considered the most advanced testing available today. It will be interesting to see as more details become available who requested the VADA testing, who paid for it and how it affects the match, which was scheduled for May 21st and is just eight days away.
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder is in England as he was making his way to Russia adjusting to the potential time change. No word yet on whether Wilder will continue on to Russia or stay put in England, but word of an official cancellation has not come down.