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Old 05-10-2018, 07:23 PM #1
OctoberRed OctoberRed is offline
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Default Ring Votes To Strip Canelo - But OVERRULED By Golden Boy's PR Guy

BY DOUG FISCHER

THE RING rankings have not been updated since the boxing events of the weekend of April 13-15, and you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the major announcement made the following week that caused the hold up.

On April 18, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) handed Canelo Alvarez a six-month suspension for testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, an infraction that ultimately cancelled his May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin that was to take place in Las Vegas.

The assumption – by fans and THE RING Ratings Panel – was that Alvarez would be stripped of THE RING middleweight title that he’s held since winning it from Miguel Cotto in November 2015 and also dropped from magazine’s rankings, per the publication’s six-year-old policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), which states:

THE RING will remove from its ratings any rated boxer – including a champion – if such boxer at some point undergoes drug testing and that boxer tests positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

That hasn’t happened in the case of Alvarez, and it isn’t going to happen.

Before I continue, I want to state two things:

First, that the Ratings Panel, which had voted to hold off on making a decision on Alvarez until the NAC completed its investigation and made an official ruling on April 18, was nearly unanimous in advising the Editorial Board (which includes Managing Editor Brian Harty, Associate Editor Tom Gray and Yours Truly) to strip the Mexican star of our 160-pound title and drop him from the rankings. The Editorial Board agreed with the Ratings Panel’s vote.

Second, and I’m speaking only for myself, the decision to strip Alvarez of the title does not mean I believe that the two-division champ is a “cheater” or was knowingly taking Clenbuterol or other PEDs in order to gain an advantage against Golovkin. It was solely about following our rules, which I also admit are vague and have led to some sketchy past decisions.

PED positives are not always a simple matter of right and wrong, as evidenced by the recent cases involving claims of contamination (as we had with Lucas Browne, Francisco Vargas, Luis Nery and Alvarez) and the complicated examples of heavyweight standouts Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury. I can’t say that there was consistency in the handling of each case in regard to our PED policy.

Sometimes we allowed an investigation – conducted by the athletic commission with jurisdiction or the appropriate sanctioning organization – to take place and the subsequent ruling of those governing bodies decided how THE RING would deal with the fighter who tested positive. We sided with the commission in the Vargas case, and with the sanctioning organizations in the cases of Browne, Povetkin and Ortiz. We sided with neither in Fury’s case, and did nothing. (He was ultimately stripped for inactivity.) We went against the commission and sanctioning body in the case of Nery, who was stripped of THE RING title.

Our policy is far from perfect, especially with the rapidly evolving understanding of PEDs and banned-substance testing, as well as the continually changing rules and regulations established by world anti-doping authorities, such as WADA, and the various commissions.

THE RING’s policy was challenged by the magazine’s newly appointed publisher, Stefan Friedman, who provided the Editorial Board with the following reasons why it was “wrong” to strip Alvarez:

1) The tests that came back positive were conducted February 17 and February 20. No one who I spoke with (trainers, doctors and others) said that the ingestion of Clenbuterol at that time would have any impact whatsoever on Canelo’s abilities for his planned May 5 fight.

2) The levels of Clenbuterol in Canelo’s system were “consistent” with meat contamination, according to Dr. Daniel Eichner, director of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory and one of the most respected professionals in his field.

3) Receipts from restaurants where Canelo ingested meat in the time period that would have led to positive tests on February 17 and February 20 were provided to the NAC.

4) A hair-follicle test showed absolutely no trace of Clenbuterol in his system. Though hair-follicle testing is not currently approved for PEDs, one would reasonably expect to find Clenbuterol in the test, as substances ingested as long as years prior to the test, can still cause a positive result.

5) It is well established that Clenbuterol has been used in a slew of slaughterhouses throughout Mexico, despite a government ban on the activity. MMA fighters, NFL football players, professional soccer players, golfers and many other athletes who have travelled to Mexico have subsequently tested positive for the substance. Many have received no punishment whatsoever.

6) If the May 5 fight had been slated to take place in California, Texas, New York or many other places, Canelo would have likely been allowed to fight, as those states do not have a zero-tolerance drug policy when it comes to Clenbuterol.

I understand and agree with many (but not all) of Friedman’s points, especially No. 6, which I believe to be true, but the fact for the matter is that the Canelo-Golovkin rematch was scheduled to take place in Nevada, and the commission of that state had to follow their rules. That’s all the Editorial Board wanted to do. But we have been overruled.

And if we can’t follow our own rules, we should not have those rules as they currently exist. THE RING’s PED Policy as it has been published in magazine since 2012 is now defunct. (If another RING-rated fighter or RING champ tests positive in the coming weeks, what can we do? The chances that the fighter will admit to willfully doping are slim and none – and Slim left town, as Don King used to say – but if we drop/strip him, we can’t fault the boxer or his or her representatives for claiming that we are being unfair and biased for Golden Boy-promoted fighters.)

It is my sincere hope and goal to draft and establish an updated and more comprehensive PED policy with the cooperation of respected anti-doping experts and advocates as well as members of the boxing community and media that are knowledgeable about the subject. I also wish to assemble an anti-doping advisory board comprised of experts in the field to help us understand the nuances of difficult cases.

In the meantime, there is more to boxing than Canelo Alvarez’s controversial and polarizing suspension.

On Saturday, three-division titleholder Jorge Linares defends his RING/WBA lightweight championship against THE RING/BWAA 2017 Fighter of the Year Vasiliy Lomachenko in New York City.

On May 20, newly crowned RING junior flyweight champ Ryoichi Taguchi will defend his IBF and WBA 108-pound belts against former 105-pound beltholder Hekkie Budler in Tokyo.

On that same day, the World Boxing Super Series is scheduled to announce a new date for its cruiserweight tournament final (and four-belt unification bout) between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev, which will determine THE RING’s champion at 200 pounds.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:25 PM #2
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Oscar really has been bad for boxing outside of his own career.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:27 PM #3
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GBP and Canelo call the shots. Don’t like it!? Don’t watch boxing! War GBP!!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:32 PM #4
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Not a good look man, not at all.. Gotta work the same for ALL FIGHTERS!!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:41 PM #5
Motorcity Cobra Motorcity Cobra is offline
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New found respect for Doug for calling it how it is.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:48 PM #6
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Changing rules for Clenelo, nothing new here, keep walking. Delahoya and Clenelo are destroying boxing in front of our own eyes, time to cry and let it die.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:12 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. EBT 97K View Post
GBP and Canelo call the shots. Don’t like it!? Don’t watch boxing! War GBP!!!
This right here!!
War Canelo! He owns boxing
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:30 PM #8
E-Thug E-Thug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcity Cobra View Post
New found respect for Doug for calling it how it is.
Same, I thought he addressed his points well.

I do agree with him on the drugs being a grey area notion. It's never as simple to call a guy a PED cheat if he fails a test without looking at the circumstances of the matter as a whole
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:47 PM #9
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:56 PM #10
Chrismart Chrismart is offline
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They've actually had to scrap their current PED policy because the guys who make the decisions didn't want to apply those rules to Canelo. Ring is a joke
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Fair play to the guys who voted correctly, but Friedman didn't have to provide 6 reason, he should of just provided the one real reason : ' Canelo is our cash cow and we don't want to upset him.'
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