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US court jury says Russian boxer Povetkin guilty of taking meldonium

Meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA starting from January 1, 2016

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/.  A US court of jury ruled that Russia’s heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin had been consuming doping substance meldonium after the performance enhancing drug was put on the prohibited list, Andrei Ryabinsky, the head of the Boxing World promotion company, told TASS on Monday.

"We have lost the case in the first court instance," Ryabinsky said in an interview with TASS. "The court was set to establish whether Povetkin was taking meldonium after the drug was prohibited."

"The jury somehow came to a conclusion that Povetkin had been consuming it [meldonium] after the prohibition," Ryabinsky added.

Povetkin told the jury in the US District Court in New York last week that he never used meldonium since it was banned, however he used it upon a prescription of his physician during a training session in Kazakhstan in the autumn of 2015.

The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA from January 1, 2016. The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

Meldronate is a cardiovascular medicine freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.

Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs) and US WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) have been locked in a legal dispute over the title bout that was to take place on May 21 last year in Moscow, but was cancelled after the Russian boxer’s doping Sample A had tested positive for meldonium shortly before the fight.

The US side called off the bout and publicly accused the Russian boxer of violating anti-doping rules, without waiting for a decision from the World Boxing Council (WBC). Povetkin and his lawyers responded with a counter-claim of libel.

Wilder, who was scheduled to make almost $4.4 million for the fight, is seeking a compensation of about $5 million for the cancelled event. The Russian side is seeking damages of $34.5 million to compensate for the harm done to Povetkin’s reputation, moral damage and costs of the cancelled fight.