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Sanchez: Canelo’s legacy is tarnished forever

Image: Sanchez: Canelo’s legacy is tarnished forever

By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Abel Sanchez says Saul Canelo Alvarez’s legacy will be forever tarnished after his positive test for the performance enhancing drug clenbuterol, and he thinks the boxing public will never forget this.

Sanchez is IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s trainer and thinks that Canelo’s team let him down by failing to make sure they watched out what he ate. Sanchez says he’s not sure if Canelo tested positive due to him eating tainted meat or not, but he’s taking him at his word that’s what happened. He says Canelo’s trainers should have been watching out for him.

As of now, the rematch between Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Golovkin is still taking place on May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Nevada State Athletic Commission hasn’t finished their investigation yet of Canelo’s positive test for clenbuterol, but it’s looking like the fight will go on 100% with little more than more testing done to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Canelo will be given the benefit of the doubt because the Commission won’t be able to prove with 100 percent proof that he cheated. Without a rule in place that penalizes fighters no matter what for positive tests for clenbuterol, fighters can blame it on eating tainted meat and be left off the hook. It doesn’t mean that many boxing fans won’t still view him as a cheat.

“Disappointed in Canelo’s team because they weren’t diligent enough to make sure he didn’t have the problem,” Sanchez said to Villian Fy. “Unfortunately, yes,” Sanchez said when asked if Canelo’s legacy will be tarnished forever. “You can do 100 things right and nobody remembers, and you can do one thing wrong and everybody remembers. The public is never going to forget,” Sanchez said about Canelo’s positive test.

Sanchez could be right about the public never forgetting Canelo’s test, especially if he keeps testing positive in the future. It’s going to be difficult for the boxing fans to forget Canelo’s positive test, especially if he looks super human against Golovkin on May 5th. If Canelo shows major improvements from the last fight, the boxing public is going to see it as an example of clenbuterol working wonders to turn him into a superman.

The fans remembered how tired Canelo was during the fight with GGG, and how he couldn’t fight more than a minute without needing to rest for the remaining two minutes of the rounds. If Canelo looks great in his fights for the remainder of his career, a lot of fans are going to see it him being helped by the drugs.

According to promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, some trainers in Mexico put get their fighters on clenbuterol before they start training camp. He says they use it to turn the heavy muscle into lean muscle BEFORE the training camp starts. They then have the fighter stop using clenbuterol during training camp, because that’s when they start getting tested for drugs.

“I’m very sad I’m in boxing,” Golovkin said about Canelo testing positive to Artorius. “He’s a professional. This is a problem. This is a problem for the sport. His team, they’re smart guys. Before, a lot of athletes have problems. He knows, everybody knows. Yes, of course,” Golovkin said when asked if he’s worried the fight with Canelo will be cancelled. “2 months before the fight, he tests positive. It’s trouble for sport. I know my side is legal. That’s it. Are you serious? It’s not meat. He tested positive. If the fight is cancelled, everybody understands it’s because he tested positive,” Golovkin said.

Golovkin is in disbelief about Canelo’s meat excuse. Golovkin thinks he should have known better, and he remains skeptical that it was tainted meat that led to Canelo’s positive test for clenbuterol. Considering what Arum says about some trainers in Mexico giving the drug to their fighters before they start training camp, it brings a lot of suspicion to Canelo.

The drug has a short half-life of 28 to 36 hours, but it can still be detected in urine for a week or two. If Canelo was intentionally using the drug, then he made the mistake of stopping too late in his cycle to avoid being caught by VADA’s testing on February 17 and February 20.

Tim Bradley thinks there should be a suspension for Canelo for the positive test, but he’s not surprised that he won’t be. He says there’s too much money to be made for Canelo to be given a suspension for his positive test for clenbuterol. Bradley notes that with normal fighters, they would receive a suspension if they tested positive. Former WBA heavyweight world champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne is one example of a fighter being suspended and stripped of his World Boxing Association heavyweight title after he tested positive for clenbuterol after his fight with Ruslan Chagaev in Russia. Browne said he ate tainted food, and he was suspended anyway. Canelo used the same excuse, but he likely won’t get suspended.

“Ultimately at the end of the day there’s a lot of money on the line,” Tim Bradley said to Villian Fy about Canelo’s positive test for clenbuterol. “Of course, the fights going to continue, but I think there should be a suspension. With everybody else, that’s what happens. But you know what, it is what it is. I ain’t got to fight the guy, so I’m not worried about it,” Bradley said.

For Canelo to get suspended, he’ll likely need to keep getting popped for clenbuterol. Without the Commission making a rule change the automatically punishes fighters that test positive for clenbuterol no matter what, Canelo can keep saying he ate tainted beef. He can reinforce this excuse by pointing out that his low levels of the drug in his urine prove that it came from tainted beef. The Commission needs to change their rules to keep fighters from being able to blame their positive tests on tainted beef.

“Look, I don’t know whether it was tainted beef or not,” Arum said to Fighthub. ”I’m sick and tired of the excuse of tainted beef. Everybody knows that a lot of fighters in Mexico use that drug to turn heavy muscle mass into lean muscle mass. This is nonsense that these amounts of this drug are only from tainted beef, when everybody knows that a lot of trainers in Mexico — before the drug testing, before they get into camp — they use this drug to do the work and then they stop when the drug testing starts. Everybody knows that,” Arum said.

Arum says he wants to see an investigation to see what happened with Canelo. He’s not accusing him of using clenbuterol, but he’s tired of the tainted meat excuse that fighters continually use when they test positive for this drug. But if trainers in Mexico are having their fighters use clenbuterol to lean them down before they start training camp and begin being tested for PEDs, then we continue to see fighters getting popped for the drug in the future coming from Mexico. If the boxing Commissions aren’t going to setup strict rules to catch fighters using the drug, then you can expect more positive tests in the future and with nothing done about it.

If the fighters can blame their positive tests on eating tainted meat and get away with it, there’s no reason for them to stop. We’ll never know if Canelo’s positive test was due to him eating tainted meat or not. That’s can’t be proven. But what the Commission can do is make sure that they setup rules to penalize all fighters that test positive in the future. My guess is if the Commissions start banning and suspending fighters that test positive for clenbuterol under any circumstances, we might see a huge drop in positive tests. Fighters will realize it’ too risky for them to continue to use the drug. I don’t know if that’ll stop them from using clenbuterol, but it could limit it.

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