Canelo Alvarez tested positive for a PED ahead of May’s fight with Triple G. It was announced yesterday that he’d failed two tests for clenbuterol last month and that the May 5th rematch might be in jeopardy. And if you’re not up on your bronchial dilators that also double as PEDs, here’s a quick refresher.
Clenbuterol, as Victor Conte told Yahoo Sports “helps to retain muscle, or build muscle, and burns body fat, which is exactly what a bodybuilder wants.” And obviously might be kind of helpful to a boxer as well.
A boxer on PEDs?!? I know, shocking, right? I mean first it’s curlers and now it’s boxers. Where will it end? And the only thing less shocking than an athlete testing positive for a PED is an athlete failing to take responsibility for the failed test. Which is pretty much exactly what Canelo’s camp did by… wait for it… blaming beef.
Golden Boy Productions said that the test results were “consistent with meat contamination that has impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years.”
In other words, the clenbuterol isn’t in his system because he was looking for an edge, but because he was looking for a steak. That bronchial dilator that showed up on the test result isn’t there because Canelo was looking for lean muscle, but because he was looking for a lean porterhouse.
Maybe that is the case. Maybe he really did just stumble into some clenbuterol cow. He wouldn’t be the first guy to fail a PED test because of tainted beef. Allegedly. In fact, the tainted beef excuse is one of the oldest in the book. But if that really is the case, it’s awfully convenient. And awfully close to the biggest fight of his career.
His camp is claiming that the amounts on the test were so low that it could only come from bad beef. Maybe. Or maybe it means that it’s been a while since he’d been using the PED and that’s why the amount was low. Either way, more investigation is needed. And Canelo better be prepared to prove and show exactly when and where he slammed the bad beef. Which restaurant served it to him or what store sold it to him, as opposed to some roidhead out in the alley outside his gym. Show me the paper trail leading to the bad meat.
For his part, Canelo himself released a statement: “I am an athlete who respects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me. I will submit to all the tests that require me to clarify this embarrassing situation and I trust that at the end the truth will prevail.”
Embarrassing isn’t the right word. Moronic is. Dumb is. Because here is the truth that should’ve prevailed in the first place: if you know that clenbuterol is put into beef in Mexico and China because it produces leaner meat, which it does. And if you know that athletes have failed PED tests in the past allegedly due to this meat, then don’t eat the meat. Very simple. Not complicated. Here’s something else that’s not complicated: you’re a pro athlete; you’re responsible for everything you put in your body. At least you should be.
If it is something that has impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years, as your camp said, then don’t do it. There’s no excuse for that, especially if it’s known. And it is. You had to know that risk was there and still took it. Why? For what?
I’m not saying Canelo definitely, knowingly, took a PED as part of a cycle. Just as side-by-side pics of him during a weight cut and fully inflated isn’t evidence that he did or didn’t either. But at the very minimum, he failed a PED test for a very avoidable reason. And to just roll on and act like it’s okay just because he had a bad steak, isn’t good enough. It’s more than embarrassing. At the very best, it’s stupid. And at the very worst, it’s a lot, lot worse.
And here’s his other problem. Even if he’s telling the truth; and it’s bad beef and not PED’S, there will always be people now who think he did roid up. Or does roid up. There will always be people who never buy the tainted beef defense. And if he wins the fight, those same people will say he cheated to do it. That not only is the beef tainted, but so is his win. Because he cheats. So even if he wins, in the eyes of many, he still loses. And he has no one to blame for that but himself. If I know there are cases of tainted beef in Mexico and China, don’t eat the beef in Mexico and China.