Another heavyweight world title fight was cancelled due to a positive drug test, this time being Alexander Povetkin failing a drug test hours before he would fight for the vacant WBC interim title.
This is Povetkin's second drug test failure in seven months. He was set to face Bermane Stiverne in Russia on Saturday for the vacant title, but now the fight is canceled. In a ruling, the governing body said it could not sanction the fight for a world title with this latest situation.
"The WBC hereby withdraws its sanctioning of the bout for the heavyweight interim world championship and will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the case and will issue subsequent rulings as required," the WBC said.
The WBC did not cancel the fight, however, and could have moved forward with Povetkin vs. Stiverne in a non-title fight. Stiverne said he was disappointed with Povetkin's drug test and chose not to have the fight altogether.
"There's no reason to fight if the WBC won't sanction the bout," Stiverne said. "I'm very disappointed in the actions of Povetkin. I've been training for months to be victorious. To wake up the day of the fight, have breakfast, take a nap and wake up to find out he tested positive is the worst possible situation. I'm headed back home to Las Vegas. Hopefully, the WBC will install me as the mandatory challenger to face Deontay Wilder. I want the opportunity to fight for the world title again, that was my whole reason to come to Russia was to earn that opportunity."
The last time Povetkin failed a drug test, it was back in May nine days before he was set to challenge Deontay Wilder for his WBC heavyweight title. He tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
Povetkin instead fought Johann Duhaupas on one day's notice. He was already in Russia and stepped up to face Povetkin. Duhaupas is the current WBC Silver heavyweight title. Povetkin knocked out Duhaupas in the sixth round of the fight.