Former world champion Sergey Kovalev has tested positive for a banned substance in preparation for his next bout, World Boxing News can confirm.
‘Krusher’ was part of the VADA Testing program in training to face Bektemir Melikuziev later this month when the adverse finding came in.
Kovalev’s fight with Melikuziev is now unlikely to occur as an investigation into how synthetic testosterone was in his system opens up.
WBN immediately contacted Kathy Duva, Kovalev’s promoter. Duva stated Kovalev denies all charges against him.
The ex-light-heavyweight ruler, who lost to Canelo Alvarez back in 2019, is ready to fight his corner.
“We are aware of the adverse finding from VADA,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Sergey Kovalev has been proven to be a clean fighter throughout the many years that VADA has tested him.
“VADA was contracted for this fight at his insistence, as he has requested for almost all his wars going back several years.
“He maintains that he did not purposefully ingest any banned substances.
“We have made arrangements to have his supplements tested for contamination and will request that VADA test his B sample.”
Boxing has struggled to hit the ground running in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic conditions. Fans were looking forward to seeing Kovalev back in action.
Due to VADA’s discovery, Kovalev faces an uncertain future unless he can fully prove the substance was out of his hands.
The cancellation will represent the second bout in succession, bearing Kovalev’s name to fall foul.
Kovalev was due to fight Sullivan Barrera back in April, but that hit the skids due to the coronavirus.
It’s been over a year since Kovalev last fought. At the age of 37, time is fast running out on his career.