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Russian Boxer Indefinitely Suspended For Doping

The World Boxing Council has imposed an indefinite suspension on Russian boxer Alexander Povetkin for doping.

In a statement, the WBC said Povetkin will be allowed to request his suspension be lifted after one year. The 37-year-old boxer won the gold medal in the super-heavyweight category at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The suspension on Povetkin applies only to bouts sanctioned by the WBC and he will be able to request that it be lifted after a year of negative tests for banned substances. Povetkin, who has a record of 31 wins and one loss with 23 knockouts, was also ordered to undergo further drug testing at his own expense.

Povetkin was also fined Sh25mn ($250,000) tested positive for Ostarine (MK-2866) a banned substance in December just before he was to face Canadian Bermane Stiverne in December 2016 for the WBC International heavyweight belt. Stiverne subsequently refused to fight the Russian and the council refused to sanction the bout for its International title. Instead, Povetkin faced Frenchman Johann Duhaupas, whom he controversially knocked out in six rounds.

The Russian boxer had earlier tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium last year just before he was expected to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a May 21 title fight in Moscow.

Alexander Karpenko, senior partner at Forward Legal and Povetkin’s legal representative, said verdict of the WBC was predictable given the December Ostarine test. Karpenko added this is what any other sport federation would have done and also commented the Council stated in August, after Alexander tested positive for Meldonium, that it would impose sanctions if any other banned substances are were found in his blood. Povetkin’s legal representative also added we, in contact with the WBC, are currently investigating how Alexander ended up with Ostarine in his system, and we are also collecting expert opinions.

Recently, a Manhattan federal judge ruled that Povetkin had used a performance-enhancing substance after it was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016. Heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder filed a case against Povetkin and sought $5 million for a bout that never happened against the Russian heavyweight challenger. The Russian boxer tested negative for Meldonium three times but then tested positive in a surprise test before the scheduled May fight. Povetkin's lawyer, Kent Yalowitz, had called the verdict 'a true miscarriage of justice.' The lawyer said hundreds of athletes have tested positive for Meldonium at trace levels early in 2016 because it stays in the body for many months.

Attorney Judd Burstein, representing Wilder, remarked his client was grateful for the victory and added his client was flying from Alabama to New York on Monday to attend the trial when his plane was diverted because of high winds.

Last August, he was initially cleared by the WBC as there was insufficient evidence he had used the performance-enhancing drug after it was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016. In August, the council decided not to ban the Russian after Povetkin remarked he had stopped using Meldonium before it had been officially banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016.

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Albert Wolfgang
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