By W.G. RAMIREZ
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada boxing regulators suspended Canelo Alvarez on Wednesday for six months for doping violations. Alvarez also must undergo drug tests. No fine was recommended because past ones have been based on future purses. With Alvarez’s May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin canceled, there is no forthcoming purse. Caroline Bateman, a Nevada deputy attorney general, suggested a punishment of six months from the date of Alvarez’s first positive test, on Feb. 17. Bateman said Alvarez has been cooperative since testing positive, which was a contributing factor in handing down a punishment less than the standard disciplinary sanction of one year.
Alvarez wasn’t present at the Nevada Athletic Commission meeting where the suspension was handed down. Alvarez was supposed to face Golovkin for his unified middleweight title next month at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but the fight was called off after the commission issued a complaint against Alvarez for testing positive to the banned performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. The fight would have been a rematch of their bout last September, where Alvarez got a controversial draw in a fight many thought Golovkin had clearly won.
Alvarez blamed contaminated beef in Mexico for his positive test and vowed to plead his case before the commission. But with Alvarez suspended because of the positive test and so little time between the hearing and the fight promoters decided to cancel the bout. “Although most professional sports, international anti-doping agencies and United States boxing commissions treat meat contamination differently from other positive tests, Nevada does not. Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions respect the rules of Nevada and are therefore satisfied with the settlement agreement reached today,” Golden Boy Promotions said in a statement issued after the meeting.
Alvarez had been a steady attraction in Las Vegas on the Cinco De Mayo weekend, and a consistent star on pay-per-view. The red-headed fighter is one of the most recognizable athletes in Mexico and one of the country’s biggest sports heroes. “Canelo looks forward to returning to the ring in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend to represent Mexico and boxing in what will be the sport’s biggest event of the year,” Golden Boy’s statement said. He is ready to continue his remarkable record of fighting at the highest level.” The undefeated Golovkin said after Alvarez withdrew from the fight that he still wanted to defend his titles May 5. He will face Vanes Martirosyan in Carson, California, next month.