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‘Canelo’ Alvarez temporarily suspended by Nevada commission

Updated March 23, 2018 - 7:45 pm

Boxing superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was put on temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Friday because of two positive drugs tests from February, executive director Bob Bennett said in a statement.

The commission scheduled a hearing April 10 for the Mexican fighter to explain himself regarding the positive drugs tests for Clenbuterol. Bennett said Alvarez doesn’t have to be there in person.

Bennett declined to comment on the status of Alvarez’s highly anticipated HBO pay-per-view rematch with Gennady Golovkin on May 5 at T-Mobile Arena.

“Mr. Alvarez is temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission per the executive director for his adverse analytical findings, that being Clenbuterol, on Feb. 17 and 20,” the statement read. “A commission hearing is scheduled for April 10, 2018, to hear from Mr. Alvarez or for Mr. Alvarez to attend.”

Alvarez’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, released a statement regarding the suspension: “We respect the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s process and will vigorously present Canelo’s case throughout. Over his career, Canelo has tested clean more than 90 times and would never intentionally take a banned substance.”

Bennett didn’t want to say if the fight with Golovkin is in jeopardy but added, “Look back at the history of other fighters dealing with Clenbuterol.”

Earlier this month, Alvarez and his promoter said the positive tests had trace levels of Clenbuterol because of contaminated meat that Alvarez consumed in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Golden Boy Promotions dealt with a similar situation in 2016 when its fighter Francisco Vargas tested positive for Clenbuterol before his bout against Orlando Salido. Vargas explained to the California Commission it was from the contaminated meat, and the bout went on to become the consensus 2016 Fight of the Year.

On Tuesday, Golovkin accused Alvarez of taking performance-enhancing drugs for their first fight in September, a controversial split draw at T-Mobile Arena.

“The commission told us that Canelo was doing everything, he complied with all their requests, has taken numerous blood tests for numerous tests that he has all passed since those original ones,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter. “Based on the meeting today, they’re doing a thorough investigation and we have faith in the Nevada Commission, and Gennady is continuing to train and wants to fight on May 5.”

Loeffler cleared up Golovkin’s remarks from his media day workout Tuesday when the middleweight champion referred to the commission as terrorists.

“The terrorist language was lost in translation,” Loeffler said. “What he meant was they hijacked the decision from him. That wasn’t appropriate, and that was a translation thing.”

Golovkin hasn’t been happy with the commission since Nevada judge Adalaide Byrd scored the first bout 118-110 in favor of Alvarez. Nevada judge Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Connecticut judge Don Trella scored it 114-114.

Loeffler said he doesn’t have a backup plan in case Alvarez is suspended past May 5.

Alvarez is trained by Eddy Reynoso and Jose “Chepo” Reynoso. Both were longtime butchers in Mexico and California.

More boxing: Follow all of our boxing coverage online at reviewjournal.com/boxing and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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