Canelo Alvarez's quest to prove his positive tests for clenbuterol was merely a product of tainted meat consumption and not blatant cheating has reached a new chapter.
Alvarez submitted hair samples to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for additional testing to see if there are any traces of the banned substance there. The tests were done at the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah and the hair follicles came back negative.
Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez's promoter, told ESPN that the tests prove that Alvarez was not intentionally cheating when he tested positive on two February drug tests.
"From the beginning, Canelo has insisted that he accidentally ingested clenbuterol from eating tainted meat," Gomez said. "The fact this NSAC-required hair follicle test came back entirely negative for any traces of clenbuterol should lay to rest any suspicion that he was intentionally taking a banned substance.
According to Dopeology.org, clenbuterol can accumulate in hair follicles and if the user were to be taking the substance for an extended period of time, then the hair follicles might produce a positive result for a period of six months or longer. If the clenbuterol in the user came from an isolated incident, such as eating contaminated meat, then the hair follicle "would almost certainly be negative."
The two positive tests from February forced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to suspend Alvarez for six months retroactive to the date of the first positive test, meaning he would be eligible to return on August 17.
In anticipation of the suspension, Alvarez withdrew from his planned May 5 fight against Gennady Golovkin on HBO pay-per-view. Since then, Golovkin has elected to move his fight to the StubHub Center in California, where he will face Vanes Martirosyan on an HBO television card.