Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Alvarez banned for six months over failed drug test




Alvarez banned for six months over failed drug test

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez poses on the scales during a weigh-in with Gennady Golovkin at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 15, 2017. AFP
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez poses on the scales during a weigh-in with Gennady Golovkin at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 15, 2017. AFP

Alvarez banned for six months over failed drug test

Mexican middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was handed a six-month ban by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday over the failed drug test which forced his rematch with Gennady Golovkin to be cancelled.

At a hearing in Las Vegas, the commission unanimously approved a deal that will see Alvarez suspended for six months from the date of his failed test on February 17.

The ruling means Alvarez, who did not attend the hearing, will be free to fight again in August – raising the possibility of a rescheduled Golovkin fight in September.

Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol twice, on February 17 and February 20, during voluntary out-of-competition tests as he prepared for his May 5 rematch with Golovkin.

He later blamed the tests on eating contaminated meat in his native Mexico, where several athletes across different sports have encountered similar problems in recent years.

The 27-year-old risked a one-year ban over the failed test, but Nevada authorities said he had been given a six-month suspension citing his cooperation with authorities.

In a statement, Alvarez’s promoters, Golden Boy Promotions said they accepted the sanction – and indicated they aimed to reschedule the Golovkin rematch for September.

“Canelo looks forward to returning to the ring in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend to represent Mexico and boxing in what will be the sport’s biggest event of the year,” Golden Boy said.

“He is ready to continue his remarkable record of fighting at the highest level.”

‘Forget Mexican meat’

Any rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin will be tinged with animosity. The two fighters have traded verbal blows in the months since Alvarez’s positive drug test came to light.

At a news conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, Alvarez insisted he was the victim of an innocent mistake, hitting back at claims from Golovkin that he was dope cheat.

“I am truly shocked about what has happened, and for those who have doubts and suspicions about my integrity, I have always been and always will be a clean fighter,” Alvarez said. “I respect this sport. I will always be a clean fighter.”

Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a controversial draw in their first meeting in Las Vegas last September, a fight most neutrals believed unified champion Golovkin had won.

Their rematch at the T-Mobile Arena next month was expected to be one of the biggest fights of 2018 but was thrown into uncertainty after news of Alvarez’s drug test emerged.

Golovkin has dismissed Alvarez’s claims that he ingested the Clenbuterol inadvertently, telling reporters last month at his training camp in Big Bear, east of Los Angeles, that he believed the Mexican was guilty of doping.

“Forget Mexican meat,” Golovkin said. “Come on . . . Canelo’s cheating. They’re using these drugs and everybody’s trying to pretend it’s not happening.”

The unbeaten 35-year-old will now fight American Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 in an open-air bout at Los Angeles’ StubHub Center.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from