London - Anthony Joshua believes he would be forced to quit
boxing if the heavyweight champion ever endured the kind of doping scandals
that have engulfed Alexander Povetkin.
Povetkin's presence as the mandatory opponent for British
star Joshua at Wembley on September 22 has infuriated fans, who feel he
shouldn't be allowed back on the big stage after his drug issues.
The 38-year-old Russian tested positive for meldonium in May
2016, the same banned substance compatriot Maria Sharapova was suspended for
The failed test led to his scheduled fight against Deontay
Wilder being scrapped before the WBC accepted the explanation that he stopped
taking the drug before it was on the banned list that year.
That wasn't the only black mark against Povetkin and, in
December 2016, he was found to have taken a banned muscle-building drug called
He was suspended from WBC-sanctioned fights after the second
failed test, but appealed and was allowed back into the sport with a year-long
ban and a $245 000 fine.
Both fighters have signed up to the Voluntary Anti-Doping
Association's (VADA) programme ahead of their Wembley date and have been tested
But reigning WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua - who has
never been linked with doping - claims a fighter of his profile would be made
to pay a heavy price if he was found to be involved with substance abuse.
"I would never be able to box again because I would be
me an example of. If I missed a drugs test or am an hour late then people will
say 'Oh, he must have been doping'," he told reporters at Wembley on
"I am not the lawmaker on that stuff. I would rather
take a loss than be done for doping; being done for doping is far worse for
your legacy than taking a loss.
"I don't see doping as a way of making yourself better
- if a person is better than you then work harder, train harder, you don't need
"Weigh it up; doping, being banned, legacy damaged. Or
someone is better than you on the night, give them the respect and bounce back.
"I would rather stay clean and give it my best every
"If I got done for doping - it would never happen -
then they would deal with me."
However, Povetkin is adamant he did nothing wrong on either
occasion and therefore shouldn't be regarded with suspicion when he faces
"First of all, I have been cleared of that suspension.
I have been justified. And the court case that was ongoing with the team of
Wilder has finished in our favour," Povetkin said.
"For me it was very, very suspicious. I know that I am
clean. I know that I was clean back then. All I can say is that I was accused
of wrongdoing when I wasn't.
"After the first time I was caught I signed a secondary
anti-doping full-time testing programme. Then what did I do? Right before the fight
I licked some meldonium or some ostarine to have no affect and be caught with
it right before the fight.
"Does is sound realistic to you? The amount they found
doesn't give any affect so why would I ever want to do that.
"I have nothing to do with it, and I am very well
deserved of the fight I am getting."
Povetkin isn't the only Russian to have been tarnished by
allegations of doping in recent years.
Forty seven Russian athletes and coaches were banned from
this year's Winter Olympics after an investigation into state-sponsored doping
during the 2014 Games in Sochi.
But Povetkin doesn't believe the problem of doping in Russia
is as bad as claimed.
"I don't think that our sportsman in Russia consume all
those things they are accused of. It's a bit annoying to be honest," he