The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) slapped Canelo Alvarez with a temporary suspension today for testing positive twice last month for the banned substance Clenbuterol.
NAC executive director Bob Bennet first confirmed the news with the Los Angeles Times. The commission has been investigating the incident since receiving word of Canelo’s two failed tests on February 17 and 20. The fighter and his promoter Golden Boy have maintained the results were due to meat contamination, a common problem for athletes living in Mexico.
The temporary suspension casts doubt on one of the biggest fights of the year — the May 5 rematch between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin. The final disciplinary hearing on April 10 will determine if the fight goes on. In the meantime, both fighters are expected to continue their training efforts.
In recent interviews, Golovkin has blasted Canelo as a dirty fighter and accused the NAC and its judges of preferential treatment to the Mexican star. Canelo has fired back on social media while Golden Boy president Eric Gomez hinted a potential defamation suit against Golovkin.
Representatives for Golden Boy and Golovkin’s K2 promoter were present at today’s hearing.
Call me a cynic due to all my years covering boxing, but this move does little to make me believe we still don’t see Canelo and GGG in the ring on May 5. Ideally, the NAC should err on the side of caution and reschedule the bout since we’re not talking about a cheating athlete who hits a ball or pedals a cycle — this is physical combat where slight advantages cause massive differences in damage, where one punch can literally end a life.
But we know that won’t happen. Cinco de Mayo is the premier boxing weekend in Las Vegas. Canelo,,who already has the WBC coming to his defense, will get the benefit of the doubt as a “first-time” offender on April 10. The real question is how both fighters will handle their training with this cloud of suspension hanging over the fight for these next few weeks.