The Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspended Saul Canelo Alvarez on Friday for failing two drug tests in February. Both tests showed traces of the banned substance Clenbuterol. Canelo’s team had argued that the fighter had ingested the drug by eating tainted meat. At the moment, at least, the excuse isn’t flying in Nevada. The news does not mean Canelo’s much hyped rematch with Gennady Golovkin for middleweight supremacy on May 5th has fallen through…at least not yet. The Commission will address the matter again at an April 10th hearing.
“Mr. Alvarez is temporarily suspended for his adverse analytical finding, and an April 10 meeting with the Nevada Athletic Commission will fully address this adverse analytical finding,” the Los Angeles Times quotes NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett as saying.
If the Commission does decide to lengthen Canelo’s suspension, the Golovkin rematch, scheduled to go down at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, might well be canceled – or at the very least postponed. Both Canelo and Golovkin agreed to testing via the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) before their rematch. The tests Canelo submitted to on February 17th and 20th showed signs of Clenbuterol. The results were made public earlier this month, rocking the fight world.
“I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me. I will submit to all the tests that require me to clarify this embarrassing situation and I trust that at the end the truth will prevail,” the fighter was quoted as saying. Canelo’s argument that tainted meat was the cause of his failed tests has raised eyebrows, though Clenbuterol is known to be found in Mexican livestock and can be ingested unwittingly.
One person who clearly doesn’t believe Canelo’s tainted meat excuse is his scheduled opponent. Golovkin has gone so far as to claim Canelo cheated for their first match, a controversial 2017 draw. He’s also stated that Canelo’s promoter, Golden Boy honcho Oscar De La Hoya, is guilty of having cheated, as well. What’s more, Golovkin accused the NSAC of essentially engaging in a form of terrorism via it’s favoritism of fighters like Canelo, herefore destroying the sport. Fairly or not, the NSAC has a reputation for bias behavior when it comes to prize fighting and Canelo is said to be a favorite of the organization.
Canelo is still allowed to train for the May 5th bout and Golden Boy has declared it will be respectful of the Commission’s decision while taking up Canelo’s cause. Golovkin promoter, Tom Loeffler, shed some light on the scenario to the LA Times. “They told us Canelo has complied with follow-up testing and everything they’ve asked of him,” he said, “but under their rules, they had to issue a suspension.”
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