Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. lost his WBC Middleweight Title to Sergio Martinez of Argentina on September 15 by a wide unanimous decision and could have lost a lot more after failing his post-fight drug test.
Chavez tested positive after the bout for marijuana, but the World Boxing Council (WBC), which has been accused favoritism in the past, when it comes to Chavez, let him off the hook with nothing but a $10,000 fine.
The former champion will also be required to show up at a rehabilitation class. Chavez can count himself lucky considering he wasn’t suspended even though this is the second time he’s failed a drug test and he was also arrested for drinking and driving earlier in the year.
Jose Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, said he spoke with the organization’s board of governors and they decided that a $10,000 would be sufficient and the cash will be donated to a cancer-related charity for children.
He added that the WBC is asking Chavez to attend rehabilitation classes and they want the rehabilitation center to confirm that he’s attending. He said the board didn’t want to suspend him since it won’t help the troubled boxer.
Many boxing insiders feel Chavez is getting off too lightly especially since it’s the second time he’s failed a drug test. However, others feel that marijuana can’t be classified as a performance-enhancing drug, making it a more tolerable offense even though it’s a banned substance.
Also, while the WBC may not consider marijuana use to be a serious matter, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission could have an entirely different point of view.
There’s a good chance that the Athletic Commission could punish Chavez a lot more severely if the boxer can’t come up with a good reason for having the banned substance in his bloodstream.
The commission could conceivably ban him for up to a year, and might also fine him a good portion of the $3 million he made for the fight against Martinez. Being a repeat offender definitely doesn’t help Chavez’s case. Promoter Bob Arum said he doesn’t feel that marijuana use is cheating and hopes the commission sees things the same way.
The pre-fight tests haven’t been released yet and those are the ones that check for performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids. The commission said those results will be released as soon as they’re all in.
Arum said that Top Rank, his promotion company, is disappointed in Chavez, and he’ll hopefully learn a lesson. He added that the 26-year-old boxer needs to grow up since he’s immature. The first time he was caught for a banned substance came back in 2009 when Furosemide was found in his system.
This is a diuretic which is often used to help reduce weight and/or to mask steroid use. Chavez was suspended for seven months in that instance and he was also hit with a $10,000 fine, which was 10 per cent of his pay for the bout against Troy Rowland.
Even though Chavez beat Rowland handily by a unanimous decision, the result was overturned and was officially posted as a no-decision.
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
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