LOS ANGELES – Because of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s positive tests for a banned drug, the rematch with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin for the middleweight championship has been canceled.
“At this point we’re going to have to cancel the May 5 rematch,” said Eric Gomez, the Golden Boy president, speaking in front of two dozen journalists at the Golden Boy office. “It’s extremely unlikely this issue will get resolved in time.”
With a little more than a month to go, Alvarez vs. Golovkin will not take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as planned. The Nevada State Athletic Commission will decide what penalty, if any, will be handed out to Mexico’s Alvarez. The next NSAC meeting is set for April 10 in Las Vegas.
According to the NSAC, the Guadalajara resident Alvarez tested positive twice for the banned drug clenbuterol during the month of February. It forced Golden Boy’s top fighter and moneymaker to withdraw from the awaited clash with Golovkin next month.
“The truth is there are doubts that I’m not clean. For that I ask forgiveness to those involved in this promotion. And especially to my fans,” said Alvarez, 27. “I’ve been involved in this sport for years, had never had a negative test result thanks to God. On this occasion, there was a minimal residual of clenbuterol. This is a public problem in Mexico and this is my thing and my fault.”
Dr. Miguel Nazul, a representative of the Mexican Sports Federation, said the infiltration of the drug clenbuterol is common in meat products throughout Mexico and not only in certain sections of the country. He also said all sports athletes in Mexico have been affected by the drug.
“This is not a new thing, especially to the public in Mexico,” said Nazul. “It has to be clear that it is a worldwide prohibited substance but farmers continue to use it. The problem is people eat this and there exists a problem in all regions of Mexico.”
Nazul said athletes such as cyclists, soccer players, baseball players and boxers have all been found with traces of the banned substance due to the use of it in meat products. He also added that in bigger doses it can be used to cut weight, add muscle mass and increase stamina.
However, he added, the small dosages found in Alvarez were not significant.
“Three months before a fight is nothing. Three months before the levels have no benefit for a boxer or athlete,” he said. “It’s important that you know and not speculate about it.”
Oscar De La Hoya, the chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, said that Alvarez has always been a proponent of drug-testing and clean athletes.
“I’ve known Canelo since he was a teenager. He’s always shown the utmost respect for the sport,” De La Hoya said. “He’s never tested positive in more than 90 tests.”
Alvarez said he hopes he can fight later this summer but he is saddened by the events.
“All these times I have not tested positive but I respect the Nevada Commission and the truth is the rematch will have to wait. It’s an exceptional fight and I have been training very hard for this middleweight fight. I’m very sad about the potential that this fight would have had,” said Alvarez at the Golden Boy building. “It’s very difficult because I have always been clean.”
No word on who will replace Alvarez as an opponent for Golovkin on May 5 in Las Vegas.
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