While preparing for his second bout against Gennady Golovkin on May 5 in Las Vegas, Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Random drug testing was part of the deal for the rematch.
According to Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy Promotions, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association found traces of Clenbuterol, a substance that is used for fat burning and known to be used by athletes to help them drop weight quicker than normal. The drug is prohibited by anti-doping agencies.
Immediately after the news broke, the three-time world champion came out to defend himself. “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. “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.”
Alvarez and his promoters believe he consumed contaminated meat in Mexico —where he trains — which would explain the positive result. In recent years, meat contamination in Mexico has led athletes there to test positive for Clenbuterol. Golden Boy Promotions says that the amount found in the athlete was consistent with the levels that have impacted athletes in Mexico. And this theory was further verified by Daniel Eichner, the director of the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory, which conducted the test. “These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination,” wrote Eichner.
As a result of this case, Alvarez is moving his training from his home country to San Diego and will submit to further tests, announced his promoters.
The fight between Canelo and the Kazakh champion is set to take place on May 5. Their first match went down last September in Las Vegas and ended in a split draw.