DEONTAY WILDER’S WBC world heavyweight title fight with Alexander Povetkin is off. Wilder was due to defend his title against the Russian next Saturday in Moscow. But Povetkin failed a drug test when Meldonium, a performance enhancing substance was detected in his system. Their May 21 fight will now not take place.

It however remains unclear what sanction Povetkin will face. The WBC said the contest was “postponed” which suggests it could be rearranged. That would be a surprise. Povetkin would need to clear his name, or else should face a ban or being dropped from the ratings.

It does however leave Wilder in limbo. Povetkin was his mandatory challenger and this was a significant heavyweight fight, as well as a hefty payday for the American. Deontay faces a period of inactivity, while the other heavyweight titles will be contested by Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale on June 25 and Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko on July 9.