by Johnny Walker
Welterweight boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs) has been suspended from boxing for nine months and fined $900,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission by a 3-2 vote after coming up dirty in a drug test following his last fight, a loss against Sergio Martinez. The fine takes 30% of his three million dollar purse.
Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana use. The fighter claimed he was using pot medicinally, to help cure his insomnia, but apparently this made no impression on the NSAC. Chavez also tested dirty for a diuretic in 2009, seeing a win changed to a no-contest. He was fined $10,000 and suspended for seven months for that first infraction: sources say that the penalties were more severe this time because of his previous drug problems.
The question of how, exactly, marijuana can be seen as a PED (performance enhancing drug) obviously needs to be examined in the light of this ruling. Chavez tried to make the case that pot doesn’t help an athlete cheat, but that argument was rebuffed.
At any rate, the suspension for Chavez is retroactive to September 2012, when he fought Martinez: he will be eligible to fight again on June 15.