Canelo Alvarez hit with temporary suspension for drug test failure, GGG bout in jeopardy

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Boxer Canelo Alvarez was temporarily suspended Friday for two separate drug test failures, putting his May 5 bout in Las Vegas with Gennady Golovkin in jeopardy. (Getty Images)

Following an investigation by Bob Bennett of the Nevada Athletic Commission into two drug tests failures, Canelo Alvarez was temporarily suspended Friday, putting his May 5 middleweight title bout with Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in serious jeopardy.

Alvarez tested positive for the anabolic agent Clenbuterol twice, on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20. The Nevada commission launched an investigation and, as a result, temporarily suspended Alvarez. He will be required to attend a hearing in front of the entire commission on April 10 in Las Vegas.

Alvarez has denied knowingly taking a banned substance and blamed his failure on eating contaminated meat. He was at his home in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the time of the test failures.

“Mr. Alvarez was fully cooperative with us in this investigation,” said Bennett, who was an FBI agent prior to becoming the commission’s executive director.

Bennett informed Golden Boy president Eric Gomez and Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler at a meeting in his Las Vegas office Friday.

Golden Boy released a brief statement supporting Alvarez.

“We respect the Nevada State Athletic Commission process and will vigorously present Canelo’s case throughout,” the statement read. “Over his career, Canelo has tested clean more than 90 times and would never intentionally take a banned substance.”

Loeffler said that Golovkin will continue to train and still hopes to fight on May 5, despite strong comments he made earlier in the week regarding Alvarez’s positive tests.

“A lot of people thought they would just shove this under the rug because they wanted the fight to happen, but with this investigation and the action they’ve taken today, they’ve proven otherwise,” Loeffler said of the commission. “We met today and Bob said they had to give him the suspension per their regulations, but he pointed out that Canelo complied with every request and that he passed multiple tests given to him since the failures. So they’ll have the hearing on April 10 and we’ll see what happens then. But Gennady definitely wants to fight and he’s going to proceed as if the fight is still happening.”

Despite the controversy, Loeffler said the bout is approaching a sellout.

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