Alexander Povetkin has failed a drug test just hours before his scheduled clash with Bermane Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Interim World Championship, which was due to take place in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
On Friday, Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) advised the WBC that Povetkin had failed his test, part of the WBC Clean Boxing Program (CBP) and that it contained elements of the banned substance Ostarine.
The WBC quickly withdrew their sanctioning of the contest for their Interim title and announced that they would “conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the case and will issue subsequent rulings.”
The @WBCBoxing is officially withdrawing recognition of Povetkin vs Stiverne due to the positive result of Povetkin for Osterine
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) December 17, 2016
Povetkin’s failed test comes just weeks after Stiverne tested positive for methylhexaneamine. Stiverne was fined $75,000 by the WBC but ruled that he could still take part in the contest.
However, it is not the first time Povetkin has failed a drug test this year, in April this year he also tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium.
Stiverne announced that in light of the failed drug test and WBC ruling he would not be taking part in the contest and would return to the US.
ESPN’s, Dan Rafael, noted that the cancellation of this contest has cost each fighter just shy of $1.5 million dollars each.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) December 17, 2016
Although unconfirmed, it is reported that Povetkin’s promoter, Andrey Ryabinksy, has lined up French heavyweight, Johann Duhaupas, as a replacement for Stiverne since events unfolded in the past 24 hours.