Mauricio Sulaiman Column: Facts show Canelo CANNOT be found GUILTY of DOPING
Sports have tremendous influence in the day-to-day life for millions all over the world. Kids play sports, youth practice sports aiming to compete as amateurs or become professionals, and elders do sports to remain fit and healthy, and those few who make it to professionalism perform to earn a living.
For centuries, and recently for decades, sports meant honorable, clean competition to win a medal for honor and national pride or win a championship for pride and supremacy. Sports move masses with great interest and when television was invented sports moved from thousands watching at arenas or stadiums to millions watching on the screen.
Then came MR. MONEY. Motivation to win turned from honor and glory to luxury, ambition and fortunes.
An Olympic medal represents large earnings for the athlete, the country, sponsors, and trainers, and moves a nation’s economy. A world championship in any sport represents huge earnings to the athlete, the team, the city, sponsors, managers, trainers, family and friends!
Setting a record, achieving or surpassing contracted minimum standards, or simply winning represents additional income, bonuses and sponsorship opportunities. The drive to be the best, the pressure to be victorious and the benefits it brings, began a practice which has changed sports forever: DOPING, the use of performance enhancing substances and illegal procedures to gain advantage over your opponents.
Doping became a complex industry. Technology and science combined in hunting for weak minds, for greedy and ambitious individuals and groups, misleading and deceiving naive athletes, exploiting the trust of those who put their lives in the hands of their trainers, coaches and advisors.
Doping in boxing appears to be rare. Boxers are honorable and mindful athletes that understand the sport and its dangers and risks and are sensible to what could happen to their opponents. They pray before the fight begging for both to end the fight healthy and end the fight embracing the opponent and recognizing their performance. However, it is a fact that doping exists and it must be BATTLED and STRONGLY penalized.
The WBC created the CLEAN BOXING PROGRAM. Administered by VADA under WADA guidelines, we have experienced a wide variety of situations, different substances, different scenarios, complicated research, investigations and rulings. We stand tall to see the WBC CBP working and will continue to have this as one of our top priorities. WE ARE THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL BOXING ORGANIZATION THAT HAS CREATED A PROGRAM TO EDUCATE, ENROLL AND RANDOMLY TEST OUT AND IN COMPETITION, AND BATTLE DOPING IN OUR SPORT BECAUSE, FOR THE WBC, there is nothing more sacred than the safety and physical integrity of the boxers, while making sure that justice is served through the corresponding application of our constitution, rules and regulations through the due process and the world principle of innocence until proven otherwise.
Canelo Álvarez tested positive for banned substance CLENBUTEROL. That is a fact and under the doping code, the athlete is the only person responsible for what enters their body.
WBC champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has all the rights to challenge the doping of his opponent. He has all the rights to demand an investigation of such doping results.
The NEVADA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION has all the rights to conduct any investigations and rule any decisions as the fight is contracted to take place under their jurisdiction.
The WBC has all the rights to investigate the case through the Clean Boxing Program protocol and determine its position as the WBC middleweight championship is involved in this fight.
Canelo Álvarez has all the rights to go through the due process, to provide information and defend his position.
· NSAC has full authority to make any decision and take any action with regards to the fighters and fight contracted under their jurisdiction.
· Nothing is more important other than guaranteeing the safety of the fighters and doping violations must be fully investigated.
· Canelo Alvarez had 2 tests with adverse findings of CLENBUTEROL.
· 3 additional tests have resulted in negative findings.
· Clenbuterol is a well-known, well-documented substance which has created a series of doping scandals in several sports in Mexico and a few other countries. Why? Because it’s widely used in agricultural production (although it is illegal) to fatten cattle. That is why it is a public health problem in México.
· WADA, FIFA, NFL, IOC, and many others have absolute knowledge of this substance and its controversies.
· 109 out of 289 soccer players tested positive for Clenbuterol during Mexico’s sub-17 World Cup in 2011.
· Erik Morales and Francisco Vargas tested positive for Clenbuterol before their respective fights of 2013 and 2016, which, indeed, took place in New York and California. THE LEVELS FOUND IN THE BOXERS AND THE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE FACTS LED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT WAS DUE TO FOOD CONTAMINATION.
· There are several other cases and sports with examples.
· The levels of Clenbuterol found in Alvarez are consistent and lower than other athletes levels from the example as detailed above which were ultimately reported as food contamination.
· Clenbuterol contamination is a national health issue in Mexico and other countries.
Every person is entitled to a due process whenever a fault has been reported. The influence of media, social media and third parties WITHOUT ANY KIND OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROCESS should never interfere and decisions must be made with absolute respect to the rules and regulations, analysis of facts and use of common sense.
Canelo, specifically and exclusively to this case, may be considered guilty of negligence and ignorance and was careless in his nutrition regime. However, with all the facts and information available to analyze this case, he cannot be found guilty of doping.