Court denies World of Boxing’s post-trial motion for new trial in Wilder case

September 27, 2017

The trial court in New York has denied the World of Boxing’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or in the alternative, a New Trial.  It held that the jury did its job in evaluating the evidence and the credibility of witnesses and based on it was able to produce the jury verdict.

The case arose out of a failed fight between heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin.  MMA Payout has been the only source that has covered this legal case extensively.  You can find some of the background here.

Order by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

You may recall, the sole issue at trial was whether Povetkin ingested Meldonium post January 1, 2016.  When the trial took place in February of this year, the jury did not take long to determine that Povetkin had ingested the drug which was prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016.  Attorneys for World of Boxing (Povetkin’s promoters) and Povetkin filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or in the alternative a new trial.  Additionally, in June, the attorneys for WOB claimed a new study may give cause for the Court to open the case back up to litigation and/or set up a new trial.

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Judge Andrew Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that World of Boxing’s efforts amounted to an attempt to re-litigate the case.  Judge Carter indicated that the jury made the verdict based on the evidence presented and there was no miscarriage of justice or conclusion not based on evidence.  He opined that WOB was asking to take as truth the testimony of their experts only in coming to a jury verdict.  The Court also determined that the jury based its decision on their impressions of Alexander Povetkin as he was able to testify at trial.  Bluntly, the Court stated in its opinion that the jury flat out did not believe his testimony. Moreover, the new study that was produced by WOB attorneys in June was available online on February 6, 2016, which was the first day of trial.  Yet, it was not brought up at trial.

Payout Perspective:

The Court ruling comes over 8 months after the jury verdict.  The case may not die yet as WOB still has an opportunity to appeal to the 2nd Circuit.  If it does not, the issues of court costs and fees arise.  Also, there is the case of what happens to the money that has/had been in escrow which is one of the forgotten issues here.  In reviewing the case, it appears that the first issue with the handling of the case was the agreement to limit the case to just one issue regarding the use of Meldonium.  The carrot of having a shorter discovery schedule and a trial date sooner than later was likely a reason why the parties decided.  However, as we saw, the case involved issues related to the late production of discovery and experts.

The litigation was marred by contentious behavior as the order included a sentence about the parties’ behavior stating, “The Court takes exception to the behavior of both parties throughout the pendency of this litigation.  The parties are once again ordered to proceed with civility and in conformance with the Court’s local rules.”

MMA Payout will have more on this as it comes down.

 

 

Povetkin-WOB bring up new information in Wilder Meldonium case

July 5, 2017

The attorneys in the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin/World of Boxing case are at it again with letters to the court sent late last month.  The parties await a pending Motion for New Trial and/or Motion for JNOV but the attorneys for Povetking and WOB are lobbying the Court to consider newfound information.

As you may recall, at trial in February, a jury took little time in siding with Wilder.  The jury decided that Povetkin had ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016, the sole issue at trial, and Wilder won as a result.  Povetkin filed a Motion for New Trial, or in the alternative, Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict.

In a letter to the Court dated, June 21, 2017, the attorneys for Povetkin and WOB note that a WADA Technical Document dated May 17, 2017 stated that WADA advised that “urinary concentrations of Meldonium below 100 ng/mL “should not be reported” “as an Adverse Analytical Finding.”  The attorneys argue that this was in direct contrast to the opinion of Wilder’s expert which noted that he follows the WADA technical documents.

Povetkin WOB letter to Court 06.21.17 by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

They also note that the WADA laboratory that examined Povetkin’s specimen has had its accreditation partial suspended.  The suspension was announced via WADA press release on June 20, 2017 and Povetkin and WOB argue that this “goes to the heart of this litigation.”  The argument is that the reliance on the accreditation by Wilder’s attorneys and his expert place the verdict into question since these issues have arisen after the verdict.

In response, Wilder’s attorney states that the two issues raised are irrelevant and are a ploy for another “bite at the apple.”  Wilder’s attorney notes that the WADA technical document does not go into effect until September 1, 2017.  Thus, the document does not go into effect until a year and a half after Povetkin’s positive test for Meldonium took place on April 27, 2016.

They also bring back the original question that was posed before the jury at trial earlier this year: “Did Alexander Povetkin ingest meldonium after January 1, 2016?”  This negates the argument of whether or not Povetkin would have tested positive for Meldonium under WADA guidelines.

WOB Letter 06.30.17 by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

With respect to the allegations that the UCLA Lab has had its accreditation partially suspended by WADA, Wilder’s attorney argues that the partial suspension does not mean that it cannot continue its regular anti-doping activities and is only for three months.  It stresses that the notice does not even apply to UCLA’s testing for Meldonium, which is central to the issue at trial.  It suggests that this fact would have likely been excluded at trial under Federal Rule of Evidence 403(b) due to the fact that its “probative value” is outweighed by its prejudicial effect.  It also suggests that this new information allows Povetkin/WOB to engage in wild speculation about the case based on assumptions.  For instance, it argues that Povetkin and WOB claim that Wilder’s expert at trial knew about the “impending suspension” which would imply that he was lying under oath.

Payout Perspective:

It has been several months since the attorneys for Povetkin and the World of Boxing have filed its motion for a new trial or trial notwithstanding the verdict without a ruling from the Court.  The latest wrangling are valid if you represent the defendants but the threshold for a motion for new trial would bet that there were significant legal errors.  The issues brought up by Povetkin and WOB seem to be more factual in nature.  Regardless, the bar to have such a motion granted (new trial or overturning a judgment) is high and somewhat difficult because you are asking the Court to overturn its own decision.  Rather, these arguments seem more appropriate for an appeal.  Moreover, the Court does not really have a time limit to decide on this motion whereas an appeal would have had more stringent guidelines.

MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Povetkin attorneys submit rebuttal report explaining VADA tests

February 6, 2017

World of Boxing has submitted a rebuttal expert to address the additional “raw data” supplied by the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

The report is from Biochemist Dr. Douwe de Boer. Dr. de Boer reviewed the information including the rebuttal expert report from Wilder’s expert. Importantly, it includes review of Povetkin’s VADA urine drug tests from April 8,9, 10 and 27th.

The sole issue at trial is whether Alexander Povetkin took Meldonium post-January 1, 2016.  Wilder claims he did.  Povetkin argues that the finding of Meldonium occurred in 2015 prior to the WADA ban.

The anticipated theory of the case is that the negative drug tests of April 8-10 and the positive drug test of April 27th for Meldonium show that Povetkin took the drug after his April 10 test.

However, Dr. de Boer concludes that “the so-called “negative” results for Meldonium in some of the urine samples collected does not mean that no Meldonium is present.” He asserts that a possible concentration was “sometimes below” the limit to detect it. He claims that some of the samples were “not negative,” but merely “not adverse.” He concludes that based on the low values “of a logical pharmacokinetic profile, its unlikely Povetkin took Meldonium post-April 11.

Expert Findings on Behalf of Povetkin by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

So, it will be a battle of experts at trial. Dr. de Boer suggests that Povetkin had Meldonium in his system from his physician prescribed use prior to the WADA ban. But, the tests that revealed it to be negative actually had Meldonium in them. Thus, Povetkin’s expert argues that there would be no inconsistency in the tests as the Meldonium that showed up in the April 27 test was not new. We should see how this theory plays out this week.