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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting