Wilder, Povetkin Enter Court Battle

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s fight with Russian boxer Alexander Povetkin didn’t happen as planned in 2016, but the two are beginning a new fight, in the courtroom rather than the ring. Wilder is suing Povetkin, who failed a drug test ahead of their planned May 2016 fight.

Wilder is suing Povetkin for $5 million in damages because the Russian heavyweight tested positive for a banned substance, which led to the cancellation of the fight that was planned for Moscow.

The bout would have been a very lucrative one of the WBC champion, so he is looking to get reimbursed by his opponent in court.

According to the NY Post, the case will be heard in the Manhattan federal court and will open on Tuesday. The WBC has also been named as a defendant along with Povetkin.

Povetkin failed his drug test on April 27 of last year, testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. The drug was only banned in January of 2016, so Wilder and his team will have to convince a jury that Povetkin knowingly took the banned substance after it was banned at the start of the year.

Prior to testing positive in April, Povetkin passed three drug tests in the leadup to the fight. Wilder’s team will attempt to use that fact as proof that Povetkin knowingly took meldonium after passing a few random tests and before his eventual positive test.

Povetkin’s lawyers plan to make the case that traces of meldonium can stay in an athlete’s system for up to a year.

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