Boxing
Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer 10d

WBC to lift Alexander Povetkin's ban on Dec. 6

Boxing

Former heavyweight world titleholder Alexander Povetkin will have his indefinite suspension by the WBC lifted Dec. 6, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday.

Povetkin (32-1, 23 KOs), 38, of Russia, twice failed random Voluntary Anti-Doping Association drug tests in an eight-month span in 2016 as part of the WBC's Clean Boxing Program. The first, which was for meldonium, cost him a mandatory bout against world titleholder Deontay Wilder in May, and the second, for ostarine, cost him a title elimination match against Bermane Stiverne in December.

In March, the WBC suspended Povetkin, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, indefinitely from participating in any WBC-sanctioned bouts and fined him $250,000, as well as having VADA design a specific drug testing protocol for him at his expense.

Povetkin would be eligible to apply for reinstatement to the WBC rankings after one year, though the organization said if he continued to test negative it would consider deferring his suspension.

He appealed the WBC ruling, and the organization agreed to review it.

On Wednesday, the WBC said it "reviewed and took into consideration additional technical and scientific extenuating information" about the drugs Povetkin tested positive for.

In its ruling, the WBC said it "amended Mr. Povetkin's indefinite suspension and imposed instead a one-year suspension from the date the sample that tested positive for ostarine was collected, or until December 6, 2017, after which time Mr. Povetkin shall be eligible to engage in WBC sanctioned activity."

It also imposed a one-year probation period on Povetkin beginning Dec. 7, after which time he "shall be free and clear of any penalty as long as he does not test positive for any banned substance during the remainder of the suspension and subsequent probation, or until December 6, 2018."

The WBC upheld Povetkin's fine and ordered him to continue the testing protocol designed for him by VADA in conjunction with the WBC's Clean Boxing Program until Dec. 6, 2018. Povetkin also must participate in the WBC's doping prevention campaign.

Povetkin will be eligible to return to the WBC heavyweight rankings in January, but he is already scheduled for a non-WBC bout against Christian Hammer (22-4, 12 KOs), 30, a Romania native, on Dec. 15 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

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