Initial pretrial conference between the parties to the suit of the Russian businessman and boxing promoter, Andrey Ryabinskiy against Don King, a US based promoter, is set to take place on July 23, 2014, at the US District Court southern District of New York. As part of this conference the judge will determine the order of procedural actions.
The long-awaited rematch for the WBA world title between the Russian heavyweight Denis Lebedev and a Panamanian Guillermo Jones, failed to take place as scheduled for April 25, 2014 in Moscow. 3 hours before the bout, WBA announced the results of the once again positive doping tests of Jones, again coming up with furosemide. WBA issued a resolution cancelling the fight. Later Andrey Ryabinskiy, Russian businessman, the organizer of the fight, filed a lawsuit against the American promoter Don King.
A year earlier, in May of 2013, when the Russian promotion company World of Boxing, owned by Andrey Ryabinskiy, organized the fight between Lebedev and Jones, the Panamanian won, but Jones’ doping tests came up with furosemide and the title was returned to Lebedev, however WBA ordered a rematch.
Negotiations with Don King about a rematch lasted almost a year. Only at the end of February of 2014, parties entered into an Agreement in Principle and an Addendum thereto. In March, the parties also signed an Escrow Agreement, with part of its conditions, as insisted on by the American promoter, setting out the transfer of a significant part of his fee before the arrival of team King and Jones to Moscow, and the remained to be transferred after the bout. However, after the fight failed to take place, Sun Trust Bank (“SunTrust”), acting as the Escrow Agent, based on the statement from King, failed to satisfy the requirements of World of Boxing for the return of funds, referring to the objection made by King as well as the contentious situation. Resolution of this matter will be challenged in court, as part of the lawsuit filed by Ryabinskiy.
Pertaining to the fight that took place on May 17, 2013 King expressed doubt with respect of the competence of the Russian anti-doping company – RUSADA, in order to avoid any disputes on the bout scheduled for April 25, 2014, WBA resolution ruled for the testing to be done by an independent anti-doping agency from Switzerland – Swiss Laboratory for doping Analyses. Transportation of the doping samples was carried out by PWC, as approved by WBA. On April 23, 2014 PWC inspectors arrived in Moscow, to the Kempinski hotel, where doping control was carried out. After the implementation of mandatory procedures – all protocols were personally signed by both boxers and their representatives, in particular King.
Later, on the day of the fight and the ready doping test results, King tried to challenge the results of Sample A saying that the collection was done in violation of the WBA rules. We remind that the procedure of doping tests is defined and approved by the World Anti-doping Agency WADA, and its rules were absolutely complied with during the collection of samples. However, the fact remains: protocols were executed as witnessed by authorized persons, in compliance with the corresponding WADA requirements, and Sample 'A' showed use of furosemide.
Damages, caused by King, have been evaluated by the attorneys of the Russian promotion company World of Boxing to be at least USD 2,4 million. “Russian side financed the fight, including the expenses for the travel and lodging of Mr. King and his team in Moscow, rent of the arena, technical equipment of the hall, advertising, promo events, broadcasting on a major Russian TV channel, among many other things," commented Kent Yalowitz, the representative of a U.S. law firm Arnold & Porter, LLP.
The made claims are completely lawful and the Russian is counting on a fair decision of the judge. Damage caused by King covers both tangible as well as reputational aspects.
"I am disappointed with King. This is truly a shortsighted behavior. This fight was long anticipated by the people in Russia, USA, Europe and other countries. Gigantic amount of effort went into this, all foiled by King’s cynicism and lack of any principles. There are concepts of dignity, courage and responsibility. King will be given a definition of these terms in court. And they are of much greater value than $2,4 million," said Andrey Ryabinskiy, giving his perspective on the on the situation.
Russian side, represented by Andrey Ryabinskiy, initiated a lawsuit against Don King with respect of the occurring breaches. Incurred damaged is valued to be at least $2,4 million.
The team that is representing the interests of “World of Boxing” includes attorneys from a US based law firm “Arnold & Porter LLP” and the Russian law firm “Forward Legal”. Right now the attorneys are preparing for the initial pretrial conference, which is scheduled for July 23 of this year at US District Court southern District of New York. “US attorneys will represent the client in the Court and our role is to help them in gathering the evidences and coordinating the process between the US and Russia. All of us believe that such tactics will lead us to the success”, - said Alexey Karpenko, Senior Partner of “Forward Legal”.
Judge Shira Scheindlin is to preside over the case against Don King, her portfolio includes the following – high-profile case against the Russian businessman Viktor Bout, found guilty in arms trade. Shira Scheindlin is the senior judge of the US District Court southern District of New York. Mrs. Scheindlin has won many awards for her high achievement and contribution towards the development of precedents and jurisprudence.