By Miguel Rivera
Earlier this month, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz had a meeting with World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman in Brooklyn, New York to discuss the Cuban boxer's recent drug test failure.
His failed test had forced the WBC to drop Ortiz from a scheduled November 4 heavyweight title fight against Deontay Wilder at the Barclays Center. He was replaced by Bermane Stiverne, who was knocked out in one round.
Ortiz failed a random urine test, administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) on September 22, the 38-year-old's second failed drug test in three years. He tested positive for two banned diuretics that are commonly used as masking agents for performance-enhancing drug use.
Ortiz did not deny taking the two banned diuretics, chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide, but said they are present in the high blood pressure medication he is taking.
Sulaiman informed ESPN Deportes that his organization will not suspend Ortiz and the boxer will retain his number 3 ranking in the top ten.
The next step, says Sulaiman, is to have a series of exams to ensure Ortiz is healthy enough to fight, and then the WBC will monitor Ortiz's future drug tests.
However, Ortiz did not dodge every bullet.
As reported three weeks ago by BoxingScene.com, the World Boxing Association (WBA) suspended Ortiz for one year for the failed drug test.
Ortiz, undefeated in 27 fights with all but four wins coming via knockout, was the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua's WBA title.
Ortiz's WBA suspension means his status as title contender is revoked, he is removed from the WBA rankings, and he may not fight in a WBA-sanctioned fight until September 22, 2018.
Both the WBA and WBC have anti-doping programs run by VADA.
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza explained that his organization needed to take a much tougher position, because they based their decision on the fact that Ortiz tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2014, when he was the WBA's interim heavyweight champion. He failed a post-fight drug test following a first round destruction of Lateef Kayode in Las Vegas.