Why is Deontay Wilder fighting Bermane Stiverne and NOT Luis Ortiz? Drugs ban explained

Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.

Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz had been due to meet before the Cuban failed a drugs test

Wilder has fought Stiverne before when the Canadian was still the champion – the American handed him just his second defeat in a crushing points win.

The 38-fight unbeaten boxer has since successfully defended his title five times, beating the likes of Eric Molina, Artur Szplika and Gerald Washington, all by knockout.

But he was expected to be handed a far stiffer test this time around when he faced Luis Ortiz.

The Cuban may only have 27 professional wins (and no losses) to his name but the 38-year-old had an extensive amateur career. He is fabled to have competed more than 350 times before joining the paid ranks and been beaten only a handful of times.

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But his shot at the WBC title was scrapped just a month before he was due to enter the ring.

Ortiz was reported to have failed a Voluntary Anti-doping Association (VADA) drugs test, which was later confirmed by the WBC, who withdrew their sanction for the fight.

Ortiz tested positive for chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide, banned diuretics which are also used as masking agents for steroids.

Bermane Stiverne.

Bermane Stiverne stepped up to face Deontay Wilder at a month's notice

He claimed they had been ingested inadvertently because they are ingredients in losartan, a prescription medication he takes to deal with his blood pressure.

However, Ortiz had failed to declare losartan to VADA prior to the test, meaning he had violated the testing protocols.

Stiverne was more than happy for the chance to take back his WBC crown and stepped up just four weeks before the fight as the mandatory challenger.

While Ortiz appears to be guilty only of a careless mistake, it is not his first offence.

His first-round TKO of Lateef Kayode to claim the interim WBA world heavyweight title in 2014 was ruled a no-contest after he tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

He was subsequently stripped of the belt, fined 10 per cent of his purse and handed an eight-month ban.

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