Sergey Kovalev has tested positive for banned synthetic testosterone, BoxingScene.com is reporting.
As a result, the former light heavyweight titleholder’s fight with former amateur standout Bektemir Melikuziev – scheduled for Jan. 30 in Indio, Calif. – is in jeopardy.
BoxingScene obtained a copy of a letter that was sent to all parties involved by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which conducted the drug test. It reads in part:
“Adverse analytical finding: IRMS (isotope-ratio mass spectrometry) results are consistent with exogenous origin of testosterone and metabolites.”
And: “Mr. Kovalev has the right to promptly request analysis of the ‘B’ sample at his expense.”
BoxingScene asked Kovalev’s longtime promoter, Kathy Duva, to comment.
“We are aware of the adverse finding from VADA,” she said. “Sergey Kovalev has been proven to be a clean fighter throughout the many years that he has been tested by VADA. VADA was contracted for this fight at his insistence, as he has requested for almost all of his fights 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.”
Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) last fought in November 2019, when he was knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in the 11th round to lose his 175-pound title.
Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs) is a natural super middleweight but agreed to a catch weight of 178 pounds for the fight. The Uzbek is a 2016 Olympic silver medalist.
This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com