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Despite recent precedent, the NSAC seems likely to take it easy on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr after testing positive for marijuana following his bout with Sergio Martinez, his second failed drug test in the state.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since the opening bell of his bout with Sergio Martinez. Chavez entered the ring as only a slight underdog only to be thoroughly outclassed for eleven straight rounds as Martinez did pretty much anything and everything he wanted. In the twelfth round, Chavez found some magic as he stunned and dropped Martinez before being unable to finish as time ran out.
Following a performance that showed remarkable guts for a man tagged with the "spoiled brat" label, it appeared that Chavez may have pulled off a classic "victory in defeat." Unfortunately, his piss poor discipline continued to haunt him as he tested positive for marijuana. This was his second failed test in Nevada as he also failed for use of a diuretic back in 2009.
Given the fairly recent case of UFC welterweight Nick Diaz, it seemed a sure thing that Chavez was headed toward a year-long suspension. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites following an interim welterweight title fight, his second failed test in Nevada. The result was a contentious situation between Diaz's camp and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that ended with a full year suspension for the UFC star.
Keith Kizer, NSAC executive director, doesn't seem completely set on handing down the same type of suspension to Chavez. When talking to Boxing Scene, Kizer said "If you were looking at the same drug, he would be looking at...at least a year. This is not just a different drug but a different king of drug. Marijuana as opposed to diuretics. The first offense for marijuana is handled much lighter but by no means am I suggesting that it's not handled seriously because it is. But its much lighter than a diuretic or steroid."
He went on to discuss the Diaz situation and its relation to Chavez directly, "Nick did some things that came out in the hearing. Before the hearing, he came out and said 'yeah, well I smoked seven days before.' Wait a minute, are you saying that you lied on our pre-fight questionnaire? We asked him if he took anything in the last fifteen days. He basically admitted that he did, so we added basically the equivalent of perjury and that was part of the findings against him"
Kizer also added that Diaz attempted to drink a lot of water following the fight to dilute his urine while Chavez quickly turned over his sample. Later confirming that "going off history" it would seem that Chavez will face more than six months.
Now, there are a lot of different things at play here. First, let's address the crybaby ass nonsense that Diaz deserved more punishment for lying on his forms. Did he lie on his form? Sure. But had he said that he had smoked weed on the questionnaire would he have been allowed to fight?
Diaz also has a medical marijuana card in the state of California (his state of residence). So he legally smoked pot a week before his fight, then tested positive because it's "illegal" in Nevada.
Now, let me say that Diaz does bear responsibility here for not being able to be an adult and just not smoke pot for a few months knowing it could be an issue for his career. He also could have applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption to see if the NSAC would allow it (as they do for prescribed testosterone therapy).
I don't have a problem with Diaz's suspension, but I do have a problem with the continued coddling of Chavez by everyone in boxing.
When sanctioning bodies and networks are setting up elaborate schemes to take belts off other fighters for trying to take fights with the same guys that Chavez then faces to win that same title, they're shipping him off to "rehab" for smoking pot, or they're making excuses for his piss poor work habits...and now we have Kizer piling on with some "well, yeah, it's his second positive test but this is DIFFERENT because it's only his first for THIS."
It's his second time being caught with something in his system that you can not have in your system to fight in Nevada. Can he pop another test next fight so long as it's not for steroids, diuretics or marijuana? Does he just have to keep mixing it up?
Anything less than a year after the precedent set with Diaz would be complete nonsense on the NSAC's part and just another example that Chavez is going to walk through his career (and life) without ever having the same rules apply to him that apply to everyone else.
Quite frankly, maybe he'd get his shit together a little bit if people would treat him like a damn adult.