Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was slapped with a six-month suspension in a unanimous decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission Wednesday in the wake of his two positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol.
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO's) tested positive for trace amounts of the substance 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 commission.
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.Ranchers have been known to use clenbuterol in their feed, even though it is also banned. In 2016, Mexican authorities inspected 200 slaughterhouses and found Clenbuterol in livestock at 58 of them (29 percent). The World Anti-Doping Agency also issued a warning for athletes in 2011 to "exercise extreme caution" when consuming meat in China or Mexico.
Clenbuterol was initially developed as a bronchodilator for the treatment of symptoms of asthma, but it also increases heart rate, blood pressure, and adrenaline. Furthermore, clen burns fat by increasing metabolism, allows for more natural breathing, and increases muscle by enhancing muscle protein synthesis.
Canelo Alvarez withdrew from his highly-anticipated May 5 rematch against Gennady Golovkin on April 3.
The two were slated to settle the score at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. However, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said that he was informed that the NSAC was unlikely to clear Canelo to fight Golovkin on Cinco De Mayo.
Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a controversial split draw in a September 2016 bout that a majority of ringside observers had Golovkin winning.'
The fight generated $27,059,850 from 17,318 tickets sold, the third largest in boxing history.
Canelo is eligible to return in August, while Golovkin will take on former 154-pound world title contender Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.