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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Saul Alvarez handed temporary suspension to put rematch with Gennady Golovkin in doubt

Mexican fighter twice tested positive for trace levels of clenbuterol, which he insists is down to eating contaminated beef

Saul Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin are scheduled to fight a rematch in May but Alvarez's recent failed doping tests have put the fight in doubt. Steve Marcus / Reuters
Saul Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin are scheduled to fight a rematch in May but Alvarez's recent failed doping tests have put the fight in doubt. Steve Marcus / Reuters

Middleweight boxer Saul Alvarez has been temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to two failed doping tests, putting in doubt his May 5 world title rematch with Gennady Golovkin.

Alvarez, 27, tested positive for trace levels of the banned substance clenbuterol in February, with the Mexican fighter insisting the results were due to eating contaminated beef - a seemingly common problem among athletes from Mexico, where farmers include the chemical in cattle feed to reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass in cows.

Alvarez and Kazakhstan's Golovkin are scheduled to face each other at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in May, in a rematch at the same location of their controversial draw which took place last September.

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However, the upcoming showdown has been thrown into uncertainty. Alvarez has been summoned to a hearing with the commission, either in person or by phone, next month when a decision will be made over whether the fight goes ahead and to decide if Alvarez faces further sanctions.

"Mr. Alvarez is temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission per the executive director for his adverse analytical findings, that being Clenbuterol, on February 17 and 20," a statement by commission executive director Bob Bennett said.

"A commission hearing is scheduled for April 10, 2018 to hear from Mr. Alvarez or for Mr. Alvarez to attend."

Golden Boy Promotions, who promote Alvarez, are confident their fighter will be exonerated and are cooperating with the commission to reach a resolution.

"We respect the Nevada State Athletic Commission's process and will vigorously present Canelo's case throughout," they said in a statement.

"Over his career, Canelo has tested clean more than 90 times and would never intentionally take a banned substance."

Alvarez has a professional boxing record of 49 wins, two draws and one defeat, his only loss coming against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. Golovkin is unbeaten in 38 professional fights, with one draw.