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Monday 26 September 2016

Wilder hits Russian drugs cheat with a heavyweight lawsuit

Deontay Wilder. Photo:Images//Golden Boy
Deontay Wilder. Photo:Images//Golden Boy

The decision of undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and promoter Lou DiBella to sue Russian contender Alexander Povetkin, and his promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, for a minimum $5million in damages as a result of their title fight having been cancelled because Povetkin failed a drugs test, could prove to be the best deterrent to halting the doping scandals that are undermining competitive sports.

The fight, which was cancelled at a week's notice, had been due to take place on May 21 in Russia but Potevkin tested positive for Melodium, the same drug for which Maria Sharapova received a two-year suspension from the International Tennis Federation.

In a peculiar twist, Ryabinskiy previously took a successful $2m case against the Don King-promoted fighter Guillermo Jones when he failed to show following a positive drugs test. Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs), who'll now defend his title against Chris Arreola on July 16, complains: "This is the longest stretch I've been out of the ring."

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