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WADA issues new statement clearing Alexander Povetkin

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Alexander Povetkin has been cleared by WADA, but will he get the fight he wants against Deontay Wilder?

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The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has issued a statement and clarification on the case of Alexander Povetkin, who failed a drug test earlier this year after testing positive for meldonium ahead of a planned fight with Deontay Wilder.

That fight wound up canceled due to the test failure, and the whole situation has been heated ever since. The WBC ruled to allow Wilder to take a voluntary defense, which he’s using in July against Chris Arreola, though Povetkin remains mandatory challenger while the sanctioning body’s own investigation remains active. Meanwhile, Wilder’s team is suing Povetkin’s, and Povetkin’s team is suing Wilder’s.

Povetkin’s positive test was for trace amounts of meldonium, and he had submitted to three tests before that one, which all came back negative. With meldonium added to the prohibited substances list effective January 1 of this year (and announced it would be last September), WADA has ruled that certain minor levels in the system for tests between January 1 and October 1 of this year will be allowed, and Povetkin’s positive test falls in that range. As of October 1, any amount of meldonium is strictly forbidden under these rules.

What this means going forward is still unknown, but it likely does strengthen the Povetkin team’s case with the WBC to keep him as mandatory challenger and again order the fight with Deontay Wilder.