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Sulaiman says he’s not protecting Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 Mauricio Sulaiman


By Chris Williams: Saul Canelo Alvarez’s positive test result for the banned drug clenbuterol could be due to him eating a taco or an appetizer at one of his commitments, says WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman in coming up with a possible rationale for tested positive twice last February in VADA’s drug tests.

Sulaiman insists that he’s not trying to protect the 27-year-old Canelo, and yet sounds very much like he’s doing exactly that by not exploring the possibility that he might have been using the drugs intentionally to get an edge over his opponent IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin, who gave him all he could handle and more in their fight on September 16 last year.


Sulaiman believes Canelo might have ate contaminated meat at one of his social commitments in Mexico. The excuse would be more plausible if Canelo’s physique hadn’t gone through such a huge transformation from his fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May of last year to the cut up, totally defined Canelo that we saw against Golovkin last September. Canelo looked both bigger and much more defined in the GGG fight than he had against Chavez Jr., even though the Golovkin fight took place at 160 rather than 164.5 lbs. Even before Canelo was popped on VADA’s drug tests last February, many boxing fans were wondering about how he could make such a huge change to his body in the first fight with Golovkin. That’s one of the reasons why the positive test for Canelo didn’t surprise a lot of fans.

”He was in Mexico, going back and forth going to several commitments; this could be the result of one appetizer, one steak, one event where he had one taco. I am not trying to protect Canelo,” Sulaiman said to Forbes.com in giving one of his theories for why Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol.

It’s certainly possible that Canelo could have eaten contaminated beef during one of his social functions in Mexico, but whose fault is that? If you know that your country has a widespread problem with contaminated meat, why do you suddenly choose to start eating untested meat at this point in your career? The timing looks bad on Canelo’s part. He’s about to take on a fighter that beat him in the eyes of the boxing world last September in Golovkin. Canelo had big time stamina problems in that fight. Everyone saw how Canelo was gassing in each round after a minute of throwing punches. It just so happens that the drug that Canelo tested positive for, clenbuterol, is one that helps improve a fighter’s stamina by increasing oxygen distribution in a fighter’s body. Is it just a coincidence that Canelo just happened to test positive for a drug that help his stamina problem or was this intentional?

Canelo has never tested positive before in the past during the 5 years that he’s been tested by VADA, so he has that going for him. However, Canelo has never fought against a fighter with the punching power and knockout record of Golovkin before. Did Canelo use PEDS to give himself an edge over a guy known for his tremendous punching power?

You can argue that Canelo has been a weight bully during his career. He’s been bigger and stronger than a lot of the guys that he’s faced. In finally making the move up to middleweight, Canelo was no longer the bully in facing GGG. He was the weaker of the two. The timing of Canelo testing positive at this point in his career for a drug that would help one of his biggest problems, his poor stamina, looks suspicious. If Canelo had tested positive for another type of drug, it might not have looked as bad to the average boxing fan. But if Canelo had tested positive for a steroid, he wouldn’t have the built-in excuse like he does with clenbuterol, because that drug has been found inside contaminated beef in Mexico. Canelo couldn’t use an excuse of contaminated beef if he tested positive for an anabolic steroid. That type of drug wouldn’t help Canelo’s biggest problem, his stamina. It’s just an odd coincidence that Canelo tests positive for the very drug that would help his conditioning problem.


”We have to be completely neutral. We have to be fair, and justice has to prevail,” Sulaiman said.

Even if Canelo is found to be innocent by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the rematch really should be postponed until perhaps the end of the summer to make sure that the potential benefit that Canelo received from the clenbuterol wears completely off. I think that would be the fairest thing that could be done to make sure it’s an even playing field for Golovkin. In the meantime, I think there should be full testing for Canelo from this time up until the rematch with Golovkin takes place in late summer or in September. If Canelo tested nonstop before he starts his eight-week training camp for the Golovkin rematch, there’s no chance that he could cycle on clenbuterol before the testing begins, which I eight weeks before the fight.

Right now, if Canelo did cycle with clenbuteral up until the 8-week start of this training camp, then he’s already benefiting from the drug and he’s got a potential advantage over Golovkin. Since there’s no way of knowing whether Canelo cycled on clenbuterol for prolonged period before he recently started training camp, the fight should be postponed for 4 to 6 months to make sure all the benefits of the drug have completely worn off.

Golovkin should insist that Canelo be tested even before training camp begins just so that he can be sure that he’s not fighting a guy that has been cheating with PEDs. If the idea is to make it an even playing field, then you must postpone the fight. When fighters test positive, the fighters are suspended much of the time. The fighter doesn’t normally continue training to take the fight anyway, because that would give them a potential advantage over their opponents. If Golovkin must fight Canelo on May 5, he’ll have no way of knowing if he’s facing a guy that had the benefit of using clenbuterol intentionally and not just someone that tested positive after being accidentally exposed to the drug from eating contaminated meat.

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