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Kovalev Caught Doping

By Robert Ecksel on January 25, 2021

Sergey Kovalev “maintains that he did not purposefully ingest any banned substances.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1-, 29 KOs), the 37-year-old former light heavyweight champion from Kopeysk, Russia, doesn’t get any respect. It has nothing to do with racial stereotyping. It has nothing to do with an aggrieved woman Kovalev had a hankering for. Those infractions, from minor to major, scary and unbecoming, were chalked up to his being a stranger in a strange land unfamiliar with the customs of his adopted land.


The latest news concerns Kovalev’s cancelled January 30 fight from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, against unbeaten Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs), the 24-year-old southpaw from Shoimbek, Uzbekistan. In advance of the bout, in accord with agreed upon VADA protocols, Kovalev tested positive on December 30, for harboring excessive amounts of testosterone and metabolites in his system. It looks like he’s been doping. He’s not the first. He won’t be the last. Kovalev’s denials fell short of fervent, but he said he didn’t do nothing.


Kovalev's promoter, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, said, “VADA was contracted for this fight at his insistence, as he has requested for almost all 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 was a darn good fighter in the day. He’s no bum. He’s just gone mum.  


The same cannot be said of Melikuziev.


“I don’t like talking,” he tweeted, “but it makes no difference to me, just put him in the ring, let us fight regardless.”


That’s the spirit, but it’s not the sport, and when VADA speaks, even boxing listens. Kovalev failed a second doping test, taken eight days after he failed the first. It also found traces of synthetic testosterone in his system.


Penalties await him. As do more fights.

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