Luis Ortiz Fails VADA Test, Wilder Fight In Doubt
One week after a press conference announcing the WBC heavyweight title clash between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, it seems the fight will not come to pass.
Unbeaten Cuban Ortiz according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association “tested positive for a banned substance” following a test taken from the organization. It was a part of the process prior to the fight with Wilder scheduled for November 4th.
Per Dan Rafael of ESPN:
According to the letter sent by VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman to Sulaiman and others disclosing the positive test, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, Ortiz gave a urine sample for a random drug test conducted on Sept. 22 at his training camp in Miami. The results were returned on Thursday, and Ortiz’s “A” sample tested positive for the banned diuretics chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide, which are used to treat high blood pressure but also can be used as masking agents for performance-enhancing drug use.
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) September 29, 2017
Ortiz, 38, who had tested positive following a 2014 defeat of Lateef Kayodet, can have his “B” sample tested at his own expense, but it is highly unusual for a “B” sample to test any differently than the “A” sample.
The promoter of the November 4th fight at Barclays Center, Lou DiBella told ESPN that…
“I can verify the information Mauricio put out… I’m flabbergasted and particularly crestfallen for my fighter. Deontay Wilder is a great champion and a clean champion and probably has been victimized more than any other fighter in the history of the sport.”
This it not the first time that this has been an issue for Wilder. As in 2016, Alexander Povetkin tested positive for meldonium, and Wilder found out about this result while traveling to Russia for the fight. That turned into a civil suit for breach of contract in early 2017, which Wilder won. Wilder’s knockout of short-notice replacement Gerald Washington, came after original challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk failed a drug test.
Ortiz is also the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua’s WBA ‘super’ title. Joshua was planning a world title unification fight in “February or March”, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn, after defending his IBF and WBA ‘super’ titles against Kubrat Pulev on October 28 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.