The topic of PEDs is still front and center, weeks and weeks after the boxing news of the year dropped, that Canelo Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol in samples taken Feb. 17 and Feb. 20.
On Thursday, we heard that Alvarez’ hair sample taken March 29 showed no trace of any banned substance, and so some folks are thinking Canelo deserves a big fat across the board apology. Other folks point out that hair testing is an inexact science, and, of course, science can’t be inexact. Couldn’t one wash and re-wash ones hair and strip out any chemical out of there, if one wanted to? Maybe so, some experts would tell you, and that’s why the hair test isn’t accepted across the board by testing organizations.
I asked GGG promoter Tom Loeffler on Thursday night if the negative hair test on the redhead exonerates Canelo.
“No idea,” he said. He said his research indicates that the lighter the hair color, the easier it might be for someone to strip out unwanted chemicals in a follicle, so, he said, he’s not inclined to see the negative test as proof.
Loeffler came on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast on Tuesday, and but of course the subject of PEDs and testing came up.
“It needs to be that if someone tests positive, it needs to be a harsh punishment, so that there is a deterrent,” he told us on ‘Talkbox.’ “To anyone trying to sneak under the radar — there’s a lot of claims, you know, fighters go onto a certain cycle, and then they only fight once or twice a year, because that way they know when they’re gonna be tested, and it won’t show up.
“Frankly, we insisted on earlier testing for this rematch than there was in the first fight, and Gennady has said that if the fight happens in the future, he would test starting after this May 5 fight. There’s nothing to hide on the GGG side, we just want there to be a level playing field. Whether it’s weigh-ins whether it’s drug testing, it should be especially in the sport of boxing since it’s so dangerous, there should be a level playing field.”
I put it to Loeffler, point blank, before that hair negative hit the newswire. Does he believe Canelo, who says he ingested tainted meat and that’s how and why the weight loss accelerant clenbuterol was in his system?
“It’s hard for me to judge, Michael,” the promoter answered. “You want to give people the benefit of the doubt. The Nevada commission did their investigation. So I’m not privy to what were the results of their investigation.”
He said this case reminded him of the Lance Armstrong situation, in that the cyclist tested negative time after time, until he didn’t. He said that GGG had remarked how different Canelo looked, his musculature, after deciding to go all in and come to 160.
“I’m going to reserve judgement on that, I don’t have access to all the investigation. We just wanted to put on a great show, it was a great promotion working with Golden Boy the first time around, we set some records on the financial side, and it was a tremendous show.
“And if there’s a way to do that again for a rematch, we’d like to do that again. That’s GGG’s highest priority.”
The path to the reset rematch would be smoothed, he said, if Canelo decided to embrace 24-7 testing from today onward.
We touched on other topics, such as pondering whether Canelo might say hell with it, steer away from doing the sequel, because he was angry at Team GGG. Listen to the whole session here.