Current Ring Middleweight boxing champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has tested positive for the performance enhancing drug (PED) clenbuterol just two months away from his highly-anticipated rematch against Gennady Golovkin, which is set to go down on May 5, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Golden Boy Promotions — Alvarez’s promoter — released an official regarding the findings.
“Canelo Alvarez has submitted a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol, but has received a favorable ruling that the amount falls within allowable levels for meat contamination in Mexico,” reports Lance Pugmire of LA Times.
Indeed, meat contamination has been running rampant in Mexico over the last five years. According to Alvarez, he is embarrassed by the situation and will submit to any and all testing WADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) needs and will move his camp from Mexico to the United States as soon as possible.
“I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me,” Alvarez said in a statement via Golden Boy Promotions. “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.”
According to the report, clenbuterol is given to cattle by many Mexican farmers to increase appetite.
Very Well Fit explains how the banned substance can be used as a performance enhancer by athletes:
Athletes who use clenbuterol do it to burn fat, build muscle, and improve sports performance. The drug is believed to increase the development of skeletal muscle by enhancing muscle protein synthesis. At the same time, it aids in fat loss by increasing metabolism.
The pugilists initially fought to a majority draw a last year thanks in large part to a controversial score from Adalaide Byrd. The do-over was announced late last year, which will obviously be a big box office success for all parties involved.
For now, the rematch is still a go, but Team Golovkin wants the governing bodies to conduct a full investigation into the findings before blaming it on tainted cow meat, something NSAC head cheese Bob Bennett fully intends on doing.
“We will do our due diligence and once it’s done we’ll let it be known whether we’re going to move forward (with the fight),” Bennett told ESPN.
This isn’t the first time a Mexican-born fighter has blamed tainted meat for failed drug tests, as Erik Morales did so in 2012 prior to his fight against Danny Garcia. In 2016, Francisco Vargas also pointed to a bad batch of Mexican protein for his failed drug test. In both cases, the fighters were eventually allowed to compete in their scheduled bouts.
Keep it tuned to MMA Mania as more details emerge from this developing story.