By Keith Idec
SANTA MONICA, California – Gennady Golovkin had to go to the bathroom Wednesday.
Golovkin didn’t need to go to bathroom, mind you. He had to go – as in a representative from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association awaited his urine sample for analysis prior to his middleweight title fight against Vanes Martirosyan on Saturday night.
That’s what’s required when a boxer is enrolled in the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program,” which is administered by VADA. When Golovkin was physically incapable of producing a urine sample Wednesday and requested more time, VADA’s representative remained with him throughout the ride from the press conference in Los Angeles to his hotel in Santa Monica.
Golovkin provided that urine sample once he got back to his hotel, but he couldn’t leave the sight of VADA’s employee until he was able to do so. Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, estimated Thursday that Wednesday’s visit marked at least the 10th time since February that Golovkin gave urine and/or blood samples to VADA in compliance with the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program.”
“I’ve been tested in training camp,” Golovkin told BoxingScene.com and another outlet through an interpreter Thursday during an expansive interview at his hotel. “I’m testing before the fight and after the fight. … I have had a lot of tests.
“They said, ‘Look, we’re coming before [the] fight, we’re coming after [the] fight.’ OK, no problem. I’m here. I am here.”
Golovkin doesn’t know Canelo Alvarez’s whereabouts. All Golovkin and his handlers know is that, unlike him, the suspended superstar isn’t currently enrolled in the WBC’s testing program and hasn’t provided blood or urine to VADA since the Nevada State Athletic Commission extended Alvarez’s temporary suspension to six months at its monthly meeting April 18 in Las Vegas.
The 36-year-old Golovkin expressed dismay Thursday that Alvarez isn’t being tested regularly for performance-enhancing drugs just two weeks after Alvarez’s suspension was extended.
“I don’t think that he’s doing anything right at all,” Golovkin said, “watching his behavior and who he’s working with.”
Blame, according to Golovkin, doesn’t solely belong to Alvarez. The Kazakhstan native feels Alvarez has been extended a benefit of the doubt by some journalists and others that he doesn’t deserve.
“Some of the media has tried to say this is just an accident with Canelo, that he is a good boxer, there is nothing wrong with him,” Golovkin said. “Sometimes [they] even compliment him. But the way I see it, Canelo is the largest problem that we have in boxing. He’s a dirty fighter because he was caught doping. And that’s why I think that we shouldn’t spend too much time talking about him, because he is a problem we have in boxing.”
Alvarez claims contaminated meat consumed in his native Mexico caused him to twice test positive for clenbuterol in February. The 27-year-old Alvarez admitted no wrongdoing as part of a settlement agreement with the NSAC and passed tests of his hair follicles, which Alvarez argues proves his innocence.
Alvarez repeatedly stated from the time those initial test results were revealed March 5 until April 3, the date he officially withdrew from his May 5 rematch against Golovkin, that he would submit to VADA testing regularly. Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter, told TMZ.com during an interview April 25 that his company’s franchise fighter would be tested every day from that point until his next fight (https://www.boxingscene.com/de-la-hoya-canelo-get-tested-every-day-from-now-fight--127546).
Golovkin and Sanchez incredulously inquired Thursday as to why that still hasn’t happened.
“The fact is that when they ruled on the 18th that he was suspended, Nevada lost its jurisdiction on that date, until the date that he reapplies for a license,” Sanchez said. “It seems ignorant to me because if you ever get a DUI or anything like that, they put you under a microscope, right? The fact that he’s not [being tested now] talks about his character.
“If he wants to prove that he is a clean fighter, like Oscar and some organizations keep talking about what a clean fighter he is, then he needs to prove it to the public. And I think he needs this fight to prove that, so that the next fight he’s free of any questions.”
Golovkin admitted Thursday that it bothers him that Alvarez hasn’t been treated harsher during his PED ordeal. The unbeaten IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion chastised anyone that thinks he shouldn’t be angry about the way Alvarez has handled this situation since it became public knowledge nearly two months ago.
“It looks like some people said we should make some concessions to Canelo. ‘Well, you know, he just made a little mistake, etcetera,’ ” Golovkin said. “But it should be to the contrary, because VADA and others should test him. He should’ve been made an example of what happens to somebody who’s trying to do some dirty tricks.
“Because there are many good fighters, young fighters, and if they see if somebody is getting some leniency for some violations, they’re being given a bad example. They should be given a good example.”
Golovkin had hoped Alvarez would keep his promise and try to prove he is clean fighter moving forward. Now that Alvarez hasn’t done that, Golovkin is beginning to wonder whether their lucrative rematch actually will be rescheduled for September 15.
Alvarez announced two weeks ago that he’ll return to the ring that night, yet didn’t mention Golovkin by name.
Golovkin told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that there is only a “10 percent” chance their rematch will take place September 15. Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, is much more optimistic than that, but Golovkin and Sanchez sense that Alvarez might want to fight someone else in what would be his first fight in almost exactly one year.
Meanwhile, Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) is fully focused at the moment on beating Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), the junior middleweight contender who agreed to replace Alvarez on just 2½ weeks’ notice. After Golovkin and Martirosyan meet at StubHub Center in Carson, California (HBO; 11 p.m. ET), Sanchez said Golovkin wants to work out an agreement with VADA through which he’ll be tested even between the nights he fights and the beginning of his subsequent training camps.
Sanchez and Golovkin want Alvarez to do the same thing, though they’re far from confident after what has transpired the past two weeks.
“Two weeks ago, three weeks ago, Oscar comes out and says he’s being tested every day,” Sanchez said. “And organizations are saying that he’s a clean fighter. They’re all complicit. They’re all complicit to a guy that’s not doing what he’s supposed to be doing. Now we, after this fight, just to show, we are gonna talk to the VADA people about Gennady being tested on a plan that they feel is the best for between fights, so that we can show that Gennady’s willing to comply with whatever it is that’s required so that this sport is clean. That’s all he has ever asked about, is to have a level playing field.”
Golovkin has a clear conscience and noted Thursday that he has repeatedly passed PED tests.
“I feel fine,” Golovkin said. “I’m clean. I don’t have any problems. I feel comfortable answering those questions. However, it’s important – not only just for Canelo, but for Canelo in particular – and not only Canelo, but his team. His team should be given a lesson because they keep saying things like, ‘Nothing really happened.’ But it shouldn’t be like that. I’m just a regular fighter. I’m a fan of boxing and I try to emphasize that boxing should be clean.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.