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Chavez Jr. tests positive for marijuana, could face long suspension

September 20, 2012 3:10pm
The near-knockout Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., came up with in the dying minutes of his fight against Sergio Martinez was the talk of the boxing world last week. Now, Chavez finds himself in the headlines again for all the wrong reasons.

In the post-fight urine test, Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana. According to a report by Lance Pugmire of LA Times, Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) called Top Rank’s Carl Moretti to inform him of the result.

This is the second offense of Chavez Jr., who was also found guilty of using a diuretic in his fight against Troy Rowland in 2009. For that offense, Chavez Jr. was charged $10,000 and suspended for seven months. The result of that bout was also changed to a no contest.

As he is a second time offender, the penalty for this offense might be steeper. In the end, Chavez Jr. could be out of action longer than Martinez, even if the latter will undergo knee surgery and spend most of 2013 rehabilitating.

However, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum said that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug and should be treated differently.

"You certainly worry about the repercussions, but we have a great commission in Nevada that understands what the social issues are," Arum said in an interview with Pugmire. "As far as I'm concerned, marijuana should be legal and you can quote me on that."

Arum also explained that Chavez took marijuana ”three weeks to a month out of breaking camp because he was having trouble sleeping…it was therapeutic use for insomnia."

As of the moment, the NSAC is in the process of setting up a team to get to the bottom of the issue. Top Rank is also reviewing the situation, according to their publicist Lee Samuels.

“Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., will have the opportunity to explain this situation to the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” Samuels said in a statement obtained by SI.com. - AMD, GMA News
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