The ex-world title holder tested positive for ostarine in December, although promoter Andriy Ryabinsky insisted Povetkin would be clean second time around. That proved not to be the case and Povetkin, who also failed a test in May 2016, is no longer recognized by the WBC.
Luis Ortiz could be set to benefit from the news as the talented Cuban is now rated at number two behind mandatory contender Bermane Stiverne. Povetkin and Stiverne were due to meet in December for the right to face champion Deontay Wilder, but the WBC could be ready to offer Ortiz the chance to earn his shot at ‘The Bronze Bomber.’
‘King Kong’ last fought when stopping David Allen on the Anthony Joshua v Eric Molina card at Manchester Arena late last year but had basically been waiting for a world title chance all year.
Highly ranked with both the WBA and WBC, Ortiz stands on the verge of contesting a belt with either in the coming months and does also have an opportunity against the winner of Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko to consider.
Kubrat Pulev is ranked third in the February rankings, whilst Briton Dillian Whyte is at four following his WBC International title victory over Dereck Chisora.
The decision will ultimately lie with the WBC on who steps in to battle Stiverne for what will be a final eliminator to challenge Wilder in the final quarter of 2017.