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Nevada commission files official complaint against Canelo Alvarez in doping case

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Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It remains unclear if the huge rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will still happen May 5. But recent events have certainly hurt its chances.

Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) executive director Bob Bennett wrote in a statement Thursday that he has completed his investigation into Alvarez’s two drug-test failures and will file an official complaint against the superstar boxer. Alvarez’s disciplinary hearing will be April 18 in Las Vegas and a planned hearing Friday to extend his temporary suspension was canceled, Bennett said.

Alvarez failed two drug tests for the banned substance clenbuterol, stemming from samples collected Feb. 17 and Feb. 20, Bennett said last week. The commission has been investigating the situation since March 5 when news broke of the positive tests. Last Friday, the NAC made the move to temporarily suspend Alvarez.

The rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin is technically still scheduled for May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but in jeopardy. The two stars fought to a split draw Sept. 16.

“After completing my investigation, I made the determination to file a complaint against Mr. Alvarez and set the matter for a disciplinary hearing during the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on April 18th,” Bennett’s statement read. “Therefore, I am cancelling the hearing that was scheduled for Friday, March 30th.”

Alvarez has denied knowingly taking the prohibited drug. When his promoter Golden Boy released the information of the first failed drug test earlier this month, it said that there was evidence that the clenbuterol came from contaminated meat in Alvarez’s native Mexico. Meat being tainted with clenbuterol is a legitimate occurrence in Mexico and China and has been noted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for years.

Golden Boy’s claim was backed up by Daniel Eichner, the director at WADA-accredited lab SMRTL in Salt Lake City. Eichner said in the release that the levels “are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination.”

The testing for the bout was conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). When the positive test results came back, Alvarez said he would finish his camp in the United States and submit to any manner of drug testing thereafter leading into the Golovkin bout.