‘Canelo’ Alvarez tests positive for banned substance found in meat

Updated March 5, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had a drug test come back positive two months before his rematch against Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena.

Alvarez’s test results had trace levels of Clenbuterol, Golden Boy Promotions announced in a statement Monday. The statement didn’t say if the fight was off or still on, but did mention that Alvarez will continue to train for the May 5 bout.

Golden Boy Promotions immediately notified the Nevada Athletic Commission and Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, according to the news release.

Clenbuterol has been found in meat produced in Mexico and has shown up in drug tests of combat fighters, NFL players and Mexico’s national soccer team.

“These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination,” said Daniel Eichner, who was quoted in the statement. Eichner is the director of SMRTL, the WADA-accredited lab that conducted the tests.

Loeffler said Golovkin declined to comment on the postive test until he speaks with the NAC.

“It’s hard to comment until we have all the information,” Loeffler said. “I really have to defer comment based on what happens with the ruling from the Nevada Athletic Commission. We just have to wait for more information from the Nevada commission to see how they’ll deal with it.”

“Hopefully there’s nothing adverse to make this fight go forward.”

Bob Bennett, the Commission’s executive director, said an investigation has started to determine whether Alvarez used performance-enhancing drugs.

“As of right now, it’s on,” Bennett said about the fight. “I’m not determining that it will stay that way. We’re still doing the investigation. There’s a litany of things that still need to be done for us to (make a ruling). We’re not really at a position to make that determination at this point.”

Alvarez will immediately move his training camp from Mexico to either San Diego or Colorado. It’s the first time in his 13-year professional career that he’s tested positive.

“I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me,” Alvarez, 27, said in a statement. “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.”

When asked if he was disappointed with Alvarez not staying away from the meat in Mexico before a big fight, Loeffler said, “That’s a better question for Golden Boy.”

Golovkin, the three-belt middleweight champion, has never had a drug test return positive.

“Abel Sanchez (Golovkin’s trainer) especially has insisted on testing for all of Triple G’s fights because he punches so hard,” Loeffler said. “Abel never has wanted to have any doubt to his punching power or conditioning.

“I know (Golovkin) always wants an even level playing field in the sport of boxing. He just wants to make sure it’s a clean sport because it’s such as dangerous sport.”

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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