World Boxing Council President (WBC) Mauricio Sulaiman has rejected the idea that his organization is protecting Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), who is currently preparing for a scheduled rematch with WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs).
The fight takes place on May 5th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
But the contest has a dark cloud above it, after the news came crashing down that Canelo tested positive for traces of clenbuterol in two random drug tests that were administered in February.
Canelo and his handlers have blamed tainted meat as the cause.
The problem with contaminated meat is an ongoing problem for Mexico - which has Canelo's supporters backing his claim, while his critics believe he should have been far more careful since he and his handlers were well aware of the problem - as several other athletes, including boxers, have tested positive for clenbuterol in the last few years - and all of them have blamed meat contamination.
Sulaiman has come out in defense of Canelo.
Last year, there was a lot of bad blood between the Mexican superstar and the WBC, but Sulaiman said recently that they buried the hatchet - and Canelo agreed to fight for the WBC belt in May. In the first contest last September, Canelo refused to fight for the WBC title.
Sulaiman says he's only being fair and not trying to protect Canelo from any punishment.
"Canelo enrolled voluntarily in the clean boxing program and has been tested by VADA for over five years in countless fights. We consider that also as a fact, there has never been a positive test, and these tests have been out of competition, which means they are random surprise testing to make sure this clean boxing program works properly," Sulaiman told Forbes.
"As a high-level competition athlete, he should have a very strong team behind him [and they should have been cautious], but also you have to look at the human aspect. He was in Mexico, going back and forth going to several commitments; this could be the result of one appetizer, one steak, one event where he had one taco.
"I am not trying to protect Canelo; believe me, this was an opportunity for the WBC and myself to take on the last year of abuse that we received from his side. It is well documented that there have been problems from the fighter against the WBC for some reasons. But we have to be completely neutral. We have to be fair, and justice has to prevail."