Alexander Povetkin Says He is Clean After Deontay Wilder Bout Postponed
Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin denied taking meldonium Monday after a failed doping test caused his fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder to be postponed.
Povetkin tested positive for meldonium last month and the WBC ruled Sunday that his bout with Wilder, which had been scheduled for Saturday in Moscow, would be delayed for an investigation.
"I'm clean. I haven't taken anything or consumed anything, so I've got nothing to fear," Povetkin said, adding he only took meldonium before it was banned at the start of the year.
Povetkin said he has no plans to look for another bout against a different opponent.
"I'm getting ready for this fight and we're not looking at anything else," the Russian boxer said. "Now they'll announce a new date for the fight and we'll get ready for that."
Wilder's team has said the fight could be canceled altogether, but the Russian camp said it is likely to be rescheduled.
Povetkin's promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky, demanded the fight be rescheduled and said he did not consider his fighter to have failed the doping test because the concentration of meldonium in the sample was, he said, extremely low.
"We want to hold the extra investigation, then after that set a new date for the fight and have the fight," Ryabinsky said. "We felt our chances of victory were significant and we are disappointed to lose time."
Ryabinsky added that Povetkin had taken four doping tests and three were clean. That could be explained by meldonium's effects recurring months after it was last taken, he said.
Wilder's team said Sunday he was heading home to Alabama from his British training camp and said the fight could be canceled. Promoter Lou DiBella accused Povetkin of "breach of contract," adding that "any talk of rescheduling ... is unfounded and premature."
If Wilder's team tries to call off the fight, "of course we will represent our interests in court and we see our position as a strong one," Ryabinsky said.
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