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Bermane Stiverne fails drug test, fight with Alexander Povetkin still on

Despite Stiverne testing positive for a banned substance, the WBC will allow Povektin-Stiverne to carry on.

Bermane Stiverne v Deontay Wilder Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Former world titlist Bermane Stiverne has failed a random drug test leading up to his Dec. 17 vacant interim title fight against Alexander Povetkin, but the WBC has ruled that the fight will still go on. This is sort of ironic considering it was just recently that Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance which scuttled his mandatory title shot against Deontay Wilder earlier this year.

Anyway, in this instance it was Stiverne who tested dirty for a banned substance, specifically methylhexaneamine, also known as DMAA — a substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2010. The result comes from a sample Stiverne provided on Nov. 4.

"Throughout the investigative process, Stiverne has been extremely cooperative and 100 percent forthcoming," the WBC said. "Stiverne informed the WBC that on the day of the test, in order to facilitate urination, he took a dietary supplement called Superharm in front of the sample collector. He reported the ingestion of that supplement in the declaration of medication use section of the doping control form he filled in connection with the test.”

I’m sure what most are wondering is how could the WBC let this fight go on for their interim title in light of this failed drug test. Well, the WBC says it’s because Stiverne has never failed a drug test before, and that:

"there is no evidence that Stiverne intentionally or even knowingly ingested a banned substance with the purpose of enhancing his performance in any fashion. Stiverne's ingestion of DMAA was purely accidental."

Pretty much every failed drug test is attributed to some sort of ‘accidental’ ingestion, but the WBC has decided to simply fine Stiverne $75,000, require him to do some community service, and move on - specifically stating there is enough time to put in place preventative measures to safeguard both fighters.

VADA will now create a specific testing protocol for Stiverne, which he must pay for himself, and it will start as soon as possible and continue for six months following the fight. If Stiverne fails another test, he will be suspended indefinitely by the WBC.

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