GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By MICHELLE HUANG
Perhaps the truth behind Canelo Alvarez’s drug use is “boxed” inside a mask of innocence and confusion.
Since Mexican middleweight boxer Canelo Alvarez’s recent blood tests has shown concerning levels of the banned substance clenbuterol (a commonly used fat burning tool and performance enhancing drug), the Nevada Athletic Commission has decided that it will further investigate this anomaly before Alvarez’s rematch against Gennady Golovkin on May 5, which will likely be postponed in order to conduct a lengthy investigation.
The Nevada Athletic Commision is making the right decision because of the serious implications of drug use in sports, such as cheating in games or matches. Whether the high levels of the substance were from mere carelessness or intentional intake, the matter should not be overlooked until investigators arrive at a verdict through conclusive evidence and proper proof.
The unacceptably high level of clenbuterol in Alvarez’s system has stirred many reactions within the sports industry because of the blurred lines of athletes’ drug use.
For instance, many have supported a thorough investigation and analysis into this incident due to newly raised questions about integrity and health during games.
However, Alvarez and his promoters have a very different, purer reason behind the suspicious substance levels. Since the investigation began, Alvarez and his promoters have maintained that the clenbuterol levels increased due to Alvarez’s meat consumption, rather than his use of drugs.
Though this idea raises suspicion among critics and seems far-fetched, it does have truth in it: many animals are injected with clenbuterol because it increases appetite and eases digestion to produce healthier animals and more profitable sales. Thus, it is definitely possible that Alvarez’s claim is true.
Although, seeing that many people in the world eat meat on a daily basis and most do not have high levels of this substance, it is also highly possible that Alverez did ingest illegal amounts of clenbuterol.
Therefore, the court and the people must carefully weigh both sides of the controversial story before picking sides. By doing so, no gaps in the story are left and the public and the judges will definitely be assured about Alvarez’s drug record in the end.
If this important matter is solved carelessly by a biased judge or jury, the truth will never be uncovered, and Alvarez’s reputation and future will be damaged and unsteady. Whether a careless verdict allows him to pursue or quit his career, a slapdash verdict will only incite more controversy and critique, especially among Alvarez’s current critics, because the verdict would not be backed with sufficient evidence.
Ultimately, the decision of the Nevada Athletic Commission to possibly postpone Alvarez’s upcoming rematch was the correct thing to do following this shocking finding about his drug intake. This case is one of many similar incidents of drug abuse in the sports industry, and it should not be taken any less seriously. Drug use in sports, or in anything else, is highly damaging toward the user and his opponents or teammates. As such, investigators should perform extensive analysis and evaluation of the clenbuterol levels in Alvarez’s bloodstream before jeopardizing his career forever.