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Russian boxer Povetkin fails doping test, loses title shot

Alexander Potevkin has had his next fight cancelled

Former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne has pulled out of his fight on Saturday in Ekaterinburg, Russia, against top-ranked contender Alexander Povetkin after the Russian tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine. The victor would have become the mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Povetkin had been due to fight WBC champ Deontay Wilder earlier this year but the bout was aborted after the Russian was found to have traces of meldonium in his system.

Yekaterinburg: Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin has told reporters that he did not use banned performance enhancing substances and does not know how steroids entered his body.

The World Boxing Council issued a ruling late Friday night, that it was withdrawing it's sanction of the fight. "I took it so hard", Povetkin was quoted as saying by Tass.

Povetkin will still fight today, facing heavyweight Johann Duhaupas (34-3, 21 KOs) at the Expo Center in Ekaterinburg.

"What sense does it make to use doping and fail the last test?" For sure, he needed more preparation to fight against someone like Povetkin but it was a very exceptional situation and we regret nothing.

Back in May, Povetkin was scheduled to fight Wilder, but a few days before the fight was going to take place - it became known that Povetkin had tested positive for meldonium. The drug was officially listed as a "banned substance" in January of this year.