Urine Hot Water! Wilder Sues Povetkin for 5 Million over Meldonium, More Cancellations
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Urine hot water, Alexander Povetkin and World of Boxing LLC.
According to a new Manhattan Federal Court civil lawsuit filed by World Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, promoters cancelled his May 21, 2016, titular defense against former champion Alexander Povetkin, age 37, due to Povetkin illegal testing positive for the prohibited substance meldonium in his system. Povetkin’s corner denies the illegality. Wilder and Povetkin are in New York City, fighting it out in the courthouse, fully clothed.
According to Deontay Wilder’s lawsuit, a random screening of Alexander Povetkin’s urine tested positive for the prohibited substance meldonium which increases the size of blood vessels, and improves blood flow, on April 27, 2016. Previous tests of Povetkin tested negative for meldonium on April 7, April 8, and April 11, 2016. Wilder’s lawsuit claimed Povetkin went back on the illegal substance before the scheduled match, believing he could get away with it, because he thought he would not be tested again before the world title bout. meldonium was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in January 2016, as well as the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency.
Povetkin’s lawyer stated Povetkin took meldonium in 2015 on the recommendation of his doctor. No explanation as to why Povetkin would test negative and positive on different tests, and weather or not this was caused by old or new meldonium use. In any case, the World Boxing Council determined on May 15, 2016, that Povetkin’s positive meldonium test invalidated his world title fight challenge contract with Wilder. Wilder feels he was cheated out of his money because Povetkin broke the rules, and wants compensation. Wilder’s attorney, Judd Burstein, also claims a subsequent May 17, 2016, negative test by Povetkin was diluted, so it would be hard to find meldonium in Povetkin’s urine sample. No word from Povetkin’s camp on the Wilder camp’s new cross allegation of impropriety.
Wilder’s new lawsuit could drag on for years, making the likelihood of a Wilder defense against Povetkin more like nonsense if the dispute cannot be settled. Povetkin might be better off going after the other paper champions, such as: Joseph Parker; the winner of Shannon Briggs versus Fres Oquendo, with a combined 88 years of age; or the winner of Anthony Joshua versus Dr. Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in London on April 29, 2017. Considering Klitschko knocked down Povetkin five times in their 2013 title bout, a rematch with Klitschko is highly unlikely one way or the other. Further, Povetkin’s positive test for meldonium has cast serious doubt over his previous fight results in Russia, whereby previous drug testing was either diluted, negligent, or not conducted at all.
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder’s latest scheduled world heavyweight title defense against Polish challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, has had opponents changed, after Wawrzyk tested positive twice, on January 15 and January 16, 2017, for performance enhancing drugs. Wilder will instead defend his universally recognized world heavyweight title against a new challenger, 18-0-1 contender Gerald Washington on February 25, 2017, at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, who tested clean.
Alexander Povetkin’s interim title fight with another former champion, Haitian Bermane Stiverne, was cancelled by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman after Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance ostarine, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency due to its containing Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) with therapeutic properties similar to anabolic agents. Stiverne was also fined 75 thousand dollars for testing positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant also known as dimethyamylamine, which was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2010.
Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinsky, head of the World of Boxing promotion company, argued his fighter has been unfairly treated and singled out, and a double standard is being applied favoring other fighters. “The investigation over Povetkin and the meldonium has lasted over six months, but it took only several days to settle Stiverne’s case.”
Ex-champion Lucas Browne was stripped of the WBA regular heavyweight title he won by defeating Ruslan Chagaev after Browne tested positive for a banned substances in both his ‘A’ and ‘B” urine samples. Browne is suspended from WBA competition for six months, automatically vacating his title.
Should for any reason Gerald Washington pull out as Deontay Wilder’s last minute challenger, and the Wilder camp gets really desperate again, they could try Giessen, Germany’s Andreas Sidon, a 54 year old with a record of 54-11 with 36 knockouts, who won the World Boxing Board’s vacant version of the world heavyweight title last May with a 12 round split decision over Drazan Janjanin, and also scored a fifth round stoppage of former European champion Danny Williams last October. Bronco Billy Wright, a 54 year old out of Las Vegas with a 52-4 record with 43 knockouts, is also seemingly available. Fighters who use performance enhancing drugs have provided sportswriter Robert Brizel with an education on why the late Lyle Alzado was right, that steroids and PEDs destroy mind, body, soul and sport.