Sports

NSAC Exec: We Won’t Be Swayed By Money in Canelo Ruling

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By Rick Reeno

As BoxingScene.com reported earlier, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has filed an official complaint against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez – in connection with the boxer's two failed drug tests in the month of February.

Canelo will have to appear – in person or by telephone – at a disciplinary hearing in Las Vegas on April 18th.

"Right now the hearing is scheduled for April 18th, it could change depending on what happens with the attorneys… it could be sooner or it could be later… it depends on what progress they make or don't make," NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett explained to BoxingScene.com.

Canelo was temporarily suspended last Friday by the NSAC.

The Mexican star tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol on February 17th and February 20th.

The testing protocol was conducted in connection with Canelo's upcoming rematch with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin – which is still on the calendar for May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Canelo's handlers claimed that food contamination is the root cause for the positive tests, with the boxer inadvertently digesting contaminated meat while training in Mexico.

The NSAC is standing firm with their regulations – specifically the regulations of NAC 467 that were made active in September 2016.

"Since Anthony Marnell has been at the helm [as NSAC Chairman], he's been following our regulations.. NAC 467, the ones that were effective on September 9 2016, and we are following them to the letter of the law, so all of the unarmed combatants know that if they test positive for performance enhancing drugs that they are treated fairly and without any prejudice or bias," Bennett said.

There is a lot of money at stake with the outcome of the April hearing. Canelo-Golovkin is easily the biggest fight on American soil in the first half of the year. The event would generate millions for the city of Las Vegas.

None of those factors will have any influence or play a role in the final ruling, says Bennett.

"I think that we've always taken a stand, sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly when it came to the sentencing and fines with marijuana – but by and large with this clenbuterol we are just being consistent with other unarmed combatants who have tested positive for PEDs – regardless of the amount of money involved or the economic impact – we are not going to be swayed by that, we are going to stick to what our regulations state and that's what the fighters can expect from us," Bennett said.

The rematch is in serious jeopardy of being canceled, and because of that reality the venue has begun offering full refunds to the event.

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