Super middleweight contender and 2016 Olympic Silver medalist Bektemir Melikuziev has been given a four-year ban by AIBA after violating anti-doping rules in 2019.
He was initially suspended from from 2018-2020 after testing positive for the diuretic Furosemide. However, Melikuziev subsequently missed three WADA tests, and a ban was issued for an additional four years. This means Melikuziev will be ineligible for international amateur competition until February 2024.
While this may sound like big deal, it doesn’t appear that it’ll have any bearing on his professional career. As fellow Uzbek Jalol Akhmedov explained on Twitter, this is an AIBA-specific ban, and seems like more of a formality than anything else. The ban includes a directive that Melikuziev be stripped of any medals won in 2020, but by then he was already competing professionally so there were no amateur results to overturn.
This is an interesting development if only because it overlaps with Sergey Kovalev’s positive drug test that resulted in their January 2021 light-heavyweight fight being canceled. Kovalev tested positive for synthetic testosterone, but Melikuziev was more than willing to carry on with that ultimately doomed matchup. Thankfully for Melikuziev, this AIBA ban doesn’t figure to impact his June 19 fight with Gabriel Rosado.