Canelo Alvarez is still slated to fight Gennady Golovkin May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas -- for now.
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO's), 27, the lineal 160-pound champion, tested positive for trace amounts of the banned substance clenbuterol in random urine tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. As a result, he was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Alvarez will be required to appear at an April 18 hearing -- either in person or via telephone -- on the matter. The meeting was initially slated for April 10, but has since been pushed back a week.
Alvarez has denied knowingly taking the prohibited substance and blamed the positive tests on contaminated beef, which has been an issue in Mexico for years.
Former five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather has come out in support of Canelo, including WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, who is also advocating that the fight be held on Cinco De Mayo as scheduled.
Below is what Sulaiman wrote on the matter, per BoxingScene.com.
The WBC created the CLEAN BOXING PROGRAM. Administered by VADA under WADA guidelines, we have experienced a wide variety of situations, different substances, different scenarios, complicated research, investigations, and rulings. We stand tall to see the WBC CBP working and will continue to have this as one of our top priorities. WE ARE THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL BOXING ORGANIZATION THAT HAS CREATED A PROGRAM TO EDUCATE, ENROLL AND RANDOMLY TEST OUT AND IN COMPETITION, AND BATTLE DOPING IN OUR SPORT BECAUSE, FOR THE WBC, there is nothing more sacred than the safety and physical integrity of the boxers, while making sure that justice is served through the corresponding application of our constitution, rules and regulations through the due process and the world principle of innocence until proven otherwise.
Canelo Alvarez tested positive for banned substance CLENBUTEROL. That is a fact, and under the doping code, the athlete is the only person responsible for what enters their body.
WBC champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has all the rights to challenge the doping of his opponent. He has all the rights to demand an investigation of such doping results.
The NEVADA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION has all the rights to conduct any investigations and rule any decisions as the fight is contracted to take place under their jurisdiction.
The WBC has all the rights to investigate the case through the Clean Boxing Program protocol and determine its position as the WBC middleweight championship is involved in this fight.
Canelo Álvarez has all the rights to go through the due process, to provide information and defend his position.
· NSAC has full authority to make any decision and take any action with regards to the fighters and fight contracted under their jurisdiction.
· Nothing is more important other than guaranteeing the safety of the fighters and doping violations must be fully investigated.
· Canelo Alvarez had 2 tests with adverse findings of CLENBUTEROL.
· 3 additional tests have resulted in negative findings.
· Clenbuterol is a well-known, well-documented substance which has created a series of doping scandals in several sports in Mexico and a few other countries. Why? Because it's widely used in agricultural production (although it is illegal) to fatten cattle. That is why it is a public health problem in México.
· WADA, FIFA, NFL, IOC, and many others have absolute knowledge of this substance and its controversies.
· 109 out of 289 soccer players tested positive for Clenbuterol during Mexico's sub-17 World Cup in 2011.
· Erik Morales and Francisco Vargas tested positive for Clenbuterol before their respective fights of 2013 and 2016, which, indeed, took place in New York and California. THE LEVELS FOUND IN THE BOXERS AND THE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE FACTS LED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT WAS DUE TO FOOD CONTAMINATION.
· There are several other cases and sports with examples.
· The levels of Clenbuterol found in Alvarez are consistent and lower than other athletes levels from the example as detailed above which were ultimately reported as food contamination.
· Clenbuterol contamination is a national health issue in Mexico and other countries.
Every person is entitled to a due process whenever a fault has been reported. The influence of media, social media and third parties WITHOUT ANY KIND OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROCESS should never interfere, and decisions must be made with absolute respect to the rules and regulations, analysis of facts and use of common sense.
Canelo, specifically and exclusively to this case, may be considered guilty of negligence and ignorance and was careless in his nutrition regime. However, with all the facts and information available to analyze this case, he cannot be found guilty of doping.
Alvarez and Sulaiman recently rekindled their relationship after a falling out in 2016. Canelo was furious after he was forced to vacate the WBC middleweight belt he earned after beating Miguel Cotto on points in 2015, initially refusing to accept the WBC strap if he beat Golovkin in the first fight, held last September.
If Sulaiman had gone against Canelo, the relationship would be all but ruined for good.
Canelo will likely face anywhere from a six-month to a one-year suspension. However, it sounds like it will be diffcult for the commission to prove that the Mexican superstar intentionally ingested clenbuterol. Therefore, the decision will be based solely on negligence and ignorance.