By Salvador Rodriguez, Rene Umanzor
Former four division world champion Erik Morales has reportedly tested positive for Clenbuterol.
In an earlier article - Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, confirmed to BoxingScene.com that his company was advised by USADA [U.S. Anti-Doping Agency] that "irregularities" were discovered in a random drug test taken by Morales.
Morales is fighting WBA/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in a rematch on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight is going to headline a Showtime televised quadrupleheader.
"On Tuesday night, USADA informed us that there were irregularities in a test from Erik Morales," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com. "On Wednesday, USADA informed the respective camps and the [New York State Athletic] Commission as well. This process is going to have to play itself out."
According to Wikipedia, Clenbuterol is a β2 agonist with some structural and pharmacological similarities to epinephrine and salbutamol, but its effects are more potent and longer-lasting as a stimulant and thermogenic drug. It causes an increase in aerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. It increases the rate at which body fat is metabolized while increasing the body's BMR. It is commonly used for smooth muscle-relaxant properties. This means it is a bronchodilator and tocolytic.
The drug has been publicized for its off-label use as a weight-loss drug, similar to usage of other sympathomimetic amines such as ephedrine. It is commonly used as a slimming aid despite the lack of sufficient clinical testing either supporting or negating such use.
Clenbuterol is not an ingredient of any therapeutic drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is now banned for IOC-tested athletes. In the US, administration of clenbuterol to any animal that could be used as food for human consumption is banned by the FDA.
According to Morales, he took three drug tests administered by USADA and only one them came up positive with a "small trace" of Clenbuterol.
Morales believes he tested positive due to contaminated meat, which he ate in Mexico. In the United States, as stated earlier, the FDA bans the administration of clenbuterol to animals which are going to be eaten by humans. In Mexico, those laws are not in place.
Morales' A sample showed a minor trace of the drug. He expects to be vindicated by the B sample.
In the first fight with Garcia in March, Morales failed to make weight. Because clenbuterol is used to burn fat and drop weight, the minor trace will raise a red flag.
However, Morales' statement regarding food contamination is a valid theory.
Cyclist Alberto Contador of Spain was banned for two years from professional cycling after testing positive for the same drug at the 2010 Tour de France. CAS later found that Contador did not take clenbuterol as a performance-enhancing drug, but probably tested positive due to a contaminated food supplement.