Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is still expected to fight Gennady Golovkin in May despite twice testing positive for prohibited substance clenbuterol.
The Mexcian middleweight twice returned traces of the drug in urine tests taken on February 17 and again three days later.
The rematch with GGG for his WBA, WBC, IBO and IBF middleweight titles is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 and there are no plans to scrap the Las Vegas showdown.
Clenbuterol is used to treat asthma but can be taken to build muscle and reduce body fat which could help a boxer build a better physique.
Alvarez, who blamed contaminated meat for the failed tests, has been training in his home city of Guadalajara but his camp will now be switched immediately to his California base in San Diego where he usually finalises preparations for big fights.
He has admitted he is embarrassed by the findings and insisted contaminated meat causing positive tests is a problem which has struck many Mexican boxers in recent times.
Alvarez said: “I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me.
“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.”
Daniel Eichner, director at a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory that conducted the tests, said: “These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination.”
And Osca de la Hiya’s Golden Boy Promotions, who,promote Alvarez, said in a statement: “As part of the voluntary testing program that Canelo Alvarez insisted on ahead of his May 5 fight, one of his results came back positive for trace levels of clenbuterol, consistent with meat contamination that has impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years.
“As Daniel Eichner, director of (the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory), the WADA-accredited lab that conducted the tests stated in his letter on Monday, ‘These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination.’ Upon receiving this information, Golden Boy immediately notified the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Gennady Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler.”
Golovkin’s camp are waiting for more information to process before making a statement but Loeffler was notified of the positive test.
He said Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) is also aware of the results but told ESPN: “We’re not really going to comment until we get more detail from VADA and the commission. We’ll reserve comment.
“But Gennady has always insisted on VADA testing for any of his fights. He punches so hard that trainer Abel Sanchez wanted nobody to have any doubt about his training program. Gennady feels very strongly about a clean sport and level playing field for both guys. He can’t comment on this test specifically, but that’s his position. It’s premature to say anything more without knowing all of the details.”
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) has been randomly tested since beating Shane Mosely for the WBC middleweight title in May 2012..
The fight at the T-Mobile Arena is Las Vegas is expected to go ahead with an audience of millions watching around the world.
The first meeting between 27-year-old Alvarez and Khazakhstan’s Golovkin, eight years his senior, was last September and it ended in a controversial draw.
GGG was generally thought to have won. One judge scored it 115-11, another 115-115 but a third gave it 118-111 to Alvarez which was wide of the mark compared to the way most experts scored the fight.