By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez announced through his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon that he has signed a contract to participate year-round in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s testing program for performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspended superstar has drawn intense criticism from Gennady Golovkin, his handlers, fans and reporters in recent weeks for failing to remain enrolled in VADA’s program while he doesn’t have a fight scheduled. The Nevada State Athletic Commission extended Alvarez’s suspension to six months at its monthly meeting April 18 for failing two PED tests in February.
The 27-year-old Alvarez twice tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance, on February 17 and February 20. Alvarez claims clenbuterol entered his system from contaminated meat, a common problem in his native Mexico.
Golovkin is among many to publicly dispute Alvarez’s excuse and just two days before his May 5 fight against Vanes Martirosyan called Alvarez “a dirty fighter” and “one of the largest problems that we have in boxing.” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) was supposed to face Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in a middleweight championship rematch May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but he was forced to withdraw from their lucrative, pay-per-view showdown April 3 because he was advised that the NSAC would extend his suspension two weeks later.
Alvarez, whose suspension is expected to end after August 17, plans to return to the ring September 15. He wants to reschedule his rematch with Golovkin, who also has publicly stated that fighting Alvarez again is his top priority.
Alvarez’s agreement with VADA means the former middleweight and junior middleweight champion will be subject to random blood and urine testing throughout the year, even when he doesn’t have a fight scheduled. He didn’t specify in his Twitter announcement exactly when testing will begin, but he presumably meant immediately.
Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions’ president, told BoxingScene.com last week that Alvarez would begin VADA testing again once contracts were signed for his rematch against Golovkin. Tuesday’s announcement seemingly assured Alvarez will be tested sooner than that.
Gomez also told BoxingScene.com that, although there’s still some time to negotiate, he would like to have contracts finalized with Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, by the end of this month for a September 15 rematch.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing