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Nery’s failed “B” sample casts shadow over Yamanaka win

Luis Nery tested positive for banned substance Zilpaterol.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Bantamweight Luis Nery just had the biggest win of his career last month when he knocked out reigning titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka. The win earned Nery the WBC and RING magazine titles but the glory has quickly faded. That’s because Nery’s pre-fight drug sample came back positive for Zilpaterol, with his “B” sample also confirming the result according to RingTV.

As a result RING magazine had already reinstalled Yamanaka as their bantamweight champion with the WBC expected to make a formal ruling on their end later this week — which will likely see Nery promptly stripped of his world title.

The substance Nery tested positive for, Zilpaterol, is similar to Clenbuterol in that they’re both mainly used to increase the size of cattle. It’s also believed that the substance aids in muscle growth and metabolism rates in human athletes as well. And just like with Clenbuterol, there’s a possibility that the drug was ingested through tainted meat, which is basically the standard “explanation” for failed drug tests of these sorts.

For Yamanaka, I’d imagine this whole thing to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Yamanaka was working on tying a record 13 consecutive title defenses by a Japanese fighter before he was stopped by Nery, and he was obviously distraught following his stoppage loss. We’ll have to wait and see how he bounces back, if at all, from this latest development.

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