After staging a dramatic rally to nearly stop middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in the final round of their pay-per-view bout last September, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. damaged much of the good will he had earned by testing positive for marijuana in his post-fight drug test. Though marijuana is not a perform-enhancing drug, it is listed as a banned substance in Nevada and, to be blunt, it was a stupid mistake by Chavez. To make matters worse, it was the second time he had been caught with something illegal in his system while fighting in Nevada, the first being a diuretic (that could also be used as a masking agent) in 2009.
In response to his second failed drug test in their state, the Nevada Athletic Commission slapped a fine of $900,000 on Chavez. Needless to say, the fine seemed more than a little excessive and caused a bit of an uproar. The main argument being that while marijuana is a banned substance, it is not a performance enhancer, and therefore did not serve as a threat to Chavez's opponent, Martinez.
Chavez's promoter, Bob Arum, was predictably irate. In fact, he threatened to never never allow Chavez, a very popular Mexican who has a huge last name in Mexico due to his legendary father, to fight in Nevada again.
However, the two sides appear to have worked together to come to a truce of sorts. The fine has been heavily trimmed to $100,000, and the World Anti-Doping Agency is even relaxing it's stance on marijuana usage according to an article at Boxing Scene. The final roadblock to Chavez being reinstated to fight in Nevada is that he needs to produce a negative urine sample when he applies for his next boxing license with the state.
Chavez, one of the top middleweights in the world, is set to take on Brian Vera on September 7 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The bout will be televised by HBO.