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Alexander Povetkin denies he is a drug cheat after being named as Anthony Joshua’s next opponent

Anthony Cocks

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Russian heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin 34-1 (24) has denied he is a drug cheat despite failing two separate drug tests in 2016.

The 38-year-old veteran will challenge England’s unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20) for his IBF, WBA and WBO world titles on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London.

Two years ago Povetkin tested positive to for the banned substances meldonium and ostarine during an eight month period. The results cost him a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in May 2016 and a world title eliminator against Bermane Stiverne in December of the same year.

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Meldonium was banned by the World Anti-Doping authority (WADA) on January 1, 2016. Povetkin has admitted to using the substance in the past but said he stopped using it once it was banned by WADA.

“First of all, I have been cleared of that suspension, I have been justified, and the court case that was ongoing with the team of Wilder has finished in our favour,” Povetkin told reporters this week in reference to the ostarine test result.

“First I was caught on meldonium, and it was a nanogram quantity. And it happened right before the fight. I was clean a couple of tests before it, and I was cleaned when tested after that.

“For me it was very, very suspicious. I know that I am clean. I know that I was clean back then. I don’t know what happened but at the end of the day, all I can say is that I was accused of wrongdoing when I wasn’t.

“The second time, ostarine, I don’t know what it is. When I read about it and they said it is for gaining muscle. I only weighed 100kg for that fight. A couple of tests before I was caught were clean. The tests after were clean. And the time they found it before the fight, was very, very minor in quantity.

“Doesn’t it all sound a little suspicious? In my opinion there was something going on at that time. I have nothing to do with it.

“The amount they found doesn’t give any affect so why would I ever want to do that? Whoever did that it’s none of my business. I am clean and I know that I was clean then.”

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