By Rick Reeno
Bernd Boente, the manager of WBO/IBO/WBA/IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KOs), has rejected the claims being made by Andrei Ryabinsky, the Vice-President of the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia. In an earlier article on BoxingScene.com, Ryabinsky said Wladimir was against the idea of undergoing full random drug testing for the upcoming fight with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs), which is tentative for the date of October 5th in Moscow, Russia.
Ryabinsky is partners on the event with Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov, who secured the rights to the card with a winning purse bid amount of $23 million dollars.
The biggest issue with finalizing the fight is the ongoing dispute regarding the selection of the organization to handle the random drug testing. Klitschko and his team want to use NADA, which is based in Germany. And Povetkin's side want RUSADA, based in Russia, to handle the testing. There is also the issue of the fight being regulated by the German Boxing Union (BDB), as Povetkin's team are looking to have the Russian Professional Boxing Federation, where Ryabinsky is the VP, handle those duties.
While NADA and RUSADA are both affiliated with WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency], RUSADA has come under fire with several scandals. One of them, which made big headlines in Eastern Europe, has to do with Marina Rodchenkov being convicted for distributing performance enhancing drugs. Rodchenkova happens to be the sister of Gregory Rodchenkov, the director of RUSADA.
Also, Povetkin's promoter, Sauerland Event, work with NADA on a regular basis. NADA, says Boente, is being used for Saturday's trilogy fight between Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi. And those facts are making Boente wonder why Hryunov and Ryabinsky are holding their position regarding the use of RUSADA.
"It's a complete lie, what he said, that we against testing in training camp. That is absolutely not true. We explicitly want both fighters tested in training. We want NADA, but the other side is insisting on RUSADA and we don't want this handled by RUSADA. We absolutely want the random test, where you don’t know when they are going to arrive, for Wladimir and also for Povetkin’s side. But we want an independent organization like NADA to handle it. NADA, as you know, has the best reputation worldwide and Sauerland, as you know, is also working with NADA for the big fights. It was NADA who caught Mariusz Wach [for anabolic steroids] after Wladimir’s fight and Sam Soliman [for a designer drug] after Felix Sturm’s fight. We are absolutely for random drug testing. The other side wants to create something, in certain media in Russia, that Wladimir has something to hide. We want random drug testing in training camp for both fighters," Boente said to BoxingScene.com.