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Malignaggi criticizes Canelo’s suspension, unhappy about zero drug testing

By Jeff Aranow: Paulie Malignaggi thinks Saul Canelo Alvarez was let off lightly by the Nevada State Athletic Commission with their 6-month suspension they handed out to him on Wednesday of this week for his two positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol.

Malignaggi feels that Canelo (49-1-2, 38 KOs) should have been given a fine along with his 6-month suspension, as well as consistent drug testing for the full six months of his suspension. Malignaggi says Canelo is not being tested now that the Nevada Commission has ended their investigation of him and given him a suspension that will last until August 17.

Malignaggi says Canelo can now go back home to Mexican and immediately start using performance enhancing drugs. If Canelo isn’t tested until he starts training camp for his next fight, which is likely going to be middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September, then he would have the next three months in which he won’t be tested by VADA. Canelo isn’t part of the World Boxing Council’s Clean Boxing program, which has year round testing.

“If you’re going to give a six-month suspension with no fine and no consistent drug testing after that, what’s the point,” Malignaggi said to Fighthub about Canelo receiving a 6-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission with mandatory drug testing part of it. “The guy can just go home and he can be doping right now for all we know. He’s suspended. He’s not going to be tested. He’s not going to do anything,” Malignaggi said.

It is confusing why the Nevada Commission didn’t make sure there was going to be testing for Canelo during the six-month suspension for his two positive tests for clenbuterol. It would make sense for the Commission to have ordered testing to be done during the time period that Canelo is being suspended for the banned substance. A suspension without testing seems odd.

Golovkin plans on fighting Canelo in September. Without testing for Canelo, Golovkin will have no way of knowing whether the 27-year-old Canelo was clean during his off periods from boxing between fights. Golovkin will have to have faith that Canelo will be clean fighter and will stay away from ingesting anymore tainted beef in Mexico. Canelo blames his positive test for clenbuterol on him having eaten contaminated beef just before he started training camp in February.

Canelo’s two tests for clenbuterol came on February 17 and February 20. He tested for low levels of clenbuterol, which would be consistent with meat contamination. However, there’s no way of telling whether the positive tests came from meat or from intentional use. The tests only showed low levels of clenbuterol.

”The way you handle that, you want to give a six-month suspension, and you put him on a 2-year probationary period where he’s consistently and strongly drug tested throughout the next two years, and if he fails any of those tests, you add two or three years to that suspension,” Malignaggi said. ”You know they don’t want to do that because they don’t actually want to catch Canelo cheating, because God forbid if you catch this guy cheating again. You’ve got to suspend him again. You’ve got to suspend him for 2 or 3 years. Then you will lose money and it’s a big problem,” Malignaggi said.

The Nevada Commission is going to have to do a better job of follow-up when they suspend a fighter for drugs. Not having drug testing during the period in which the fighter is suspended is pointless because there’s no way of knowing whether they’re hopping back on the drug to cycle up for their next fight. If the drug cheats cycle in between fights and end the cycle a week before they start training camps, which is when the drug testing starts, then there’s a large window where a fighter can use PEDs without having to worry about being tested.

Golovkin probably isn’t going to start insisting that Canelo begin drug testing right now, so he can be sure that he’s a clean fighter when/if he faces him in September. The last thing Golovkin wants to do is to push too hard for the drug testing, and wind up not getting the fight.

”The way he missed time on his cycle; he didn’t expect them to show up in Mexico,” Malignaggi said. ”He thought, ‘I’m going to go to Vegas. By this time it’s going to clear my system.’ No man, we came to surprise you. But that’s about the time you start testing for a May 5th fight in early February, right? So this guy was doing it during his time off, which is a problem in general. If you don’t have year round drug testing, these guys are going to do it during their time off consistently,” Malignaggi said.

The testing needs to be done well before the fighters begin their training camps if they’re going to be using PEDs before camps start and ending it just in time.

”Part of the suspension problem is there should be a six-month suspension plus a 2-year probationary period where your drug tested all the time consistently,” Malignaggi said. ”They’re not going to do that because they don’t have the balls to do that,” Malignaggi said.

The Nevada Commission needs to follow-up with the fighters they suspend for PEDs. Without testing during the suspension period, there’s no way of knowing whether they’re back on the drugs.

Golovkin isn’t likely going to rock the boat by insisting that Canelo begin testing right now during what’s left of his six-month suspension. There’s four months left of Canelo’s suspension.

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