Canelo Alvarez Signs Up For Year-Round VADA Drug Testing

Photo - Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports

After a six-month suspension for two failed drug tests and his removal from the WBC rankings, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez announced a huge commitment to proving he’s a clean fighter.

Alvarez announced on his Twitter account that he had signed up for year-round testing with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA):

Alvarez was recently suspended six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after testing positive for banned substance Clenbuterol in out-of-competition tests on Feb. 17 and Feb. 21. It was thought there was still a chance for his May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin could still take place; however, that possibility shrank when the NSAC issued a formal anti-doping complaint against Alvarez and the fight was called off April 3.

Alvarez was then removed from the official WBC middleweight rankings after failing to enroll in their ‘Clean Fighter’ program.

Golovkin has been especially critical of Alvarez’ failures, which he had claimed were from contaminated meat in his native Mexico. Clenbuterol has been found in trace amounts in meat sold in Mexico and China, and multiple UFC fighters South of the Border have failed USADA drug tests that way. But the same wasn’t found for Alvarez, and he’ll now enter year-round voluntary testing to prove he is clean.

If the program proves effective and Alvarez can clear his name, there’s talk the awaited rematch of their controversial 2017 draw will take place on September 15. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler said he had been in talks with Alvarez’ Golden Boy Promotions via Yahoo! and praised Alvarez’ efforts to prove he was clean as a great step to rescheduling the fight:

“I think it’s the right thing to do, especially for someone who has been proclaiming his innocence,” Loeffler said. “Gennady has been clear that he would have no problem continuing to be tested through the fight in September, and he expected the same from Canelo, so this is a step in the right direction.

“It would have been a requirement [to make the fight], but they never balked at doing it. It was a matter of when it would start. When he said he’d start testing when the contract was signed, that raised a few flags, but really, if he’s being tested now, there are no issues. This was a good step.”