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Photo by Kevork Dejansezian/ Getty Images

Mexican superstar ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), was in training for his mega rematch against middleweight world champion ‘Triple G’ Gennady Golovkin when it was revealed that he had tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol. Both boxers had agreed to random testing for performance-enhancers by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as terms for the original match, as well as any rematches.

Canelo has always claimed to be a clean fighter and that the positive testing was a result of contaminated meat, per Dan Rafael of ESPN.

This would not be the first time professional Mexican athletes have tested positive for performance-enhancers due to contaminated meat. At the 2011 FIFA under-17 world cup in Mexico, 109 of 208 athletes tested positive for clenbuterol. Although illegal in Mexico, farmers were still using clenbuterol to add muscle to their calves. A crackdown in 2015 busted 58 of 200 slaughterhouses for use of the drug, per USA Today Sports. The Mexican soccer team’s solution was to go on a meatless diet consisting of only fish and vegetables where, thereafter, all of their athletes tested negative, quickly proving the clenbuterol to be the result of tainted meat.

“With a heavy heart, I want to reiterate to you that I am, have been for 12 years and always will be a clean athlete”, Canelo posted to his fans on Instagram on April 5th. “I will never taint or damage a career that I have made so many sacrifices for. I respect my sport, my fans, my trainers, and my country. Boxing is my life.”

Intent on clearing his reputation after the failed drug tests and his removal from the May 5 pay-per-view rematch against Triple G, Canelo submitted to hair follicle testing where his results came back negative. The Nevada Athletic Commission collected hair samples on March 29 and testing was handled at the WADA accredited Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to CBS Sports, substances such as clenbuterol are detectable in urine for less than a week after ingestion but can be found in hair for several months. The negative follicle test could support Canelo’s claim that his positive tests results were due to ingesting contaminated meat.

“We did the hair test to prove this was accidental. Canelo is telling the truth about the meat contamination and he went far and beyond what he had to do by agreeing to have this hair test done so that he can keep on proving that he is an innocent fighter” Golden Boy Promotions’ Ceo Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN.

The heavily anticipated rematch was set to take place on Cinco De Mayo Weekend. Golovkin will continue on to fight 31-year-old Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), who has not fought in the last 2 years since his loss to Erislandy Lara back in May 2016. The controversial draw back in September has not been forgotten by boxing fans.

De La Hoya has confirmed with TMZ that Canelo will be fighting the rematch against Triple G September 15, 2018. “Once they fight in September, I’ll tell you one thing- Canelo’s going to freaking wail on him.”


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