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Former Middleweight Titleholder Suspended After Drug Test

The former WBC Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did not pass drug test for marijuana and was temporarily suspended by the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission). The suspension follows his unanimous decision loss on September 15 to the world champion Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas. The suspension was declared at the Commission’s monthly meeting and is temporary pending a hearing in which Chavez, his attorneys and the Nevada attorney general will appear.

Commission executive director Keith Kizer stated that Chavez’s license was suspended, but as of now there has been no finding of fact in the case.  Pending the hearing, Chavez cannot fight in the state of Nevada.  Kizer said the Commission is ready to hold the hearing and is waiting for Mr. Chavez and his attorneys to come forward.

Chavez faces a fine likely to be at least $300,000.  This represents 10% of his $3 million earnings for the fight with Martinez.  He could be fined up to the entire amount of his earnings in the fight, but that is unusual punishment for failed drug test.  He also faces a one-year suspension which other states are required to honor under federal law. A positive marijuana test would normally not result in that much of a suspension.  However this is the second positive drug test for Chavez since 2009 and the Commission will take this fact into account.

Chavez has previously tested positive for the banned substance Furosemide in November 2009.  Furosemide is a diuretic usually used to reduce weight but also used as a masking agent to conceal steroids.  The positive test occurred at his fight against Troy Rowland at the MGM Grand, which took place on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao - Miguel Cotto fight. On that occasion the Commission suspended Chaves for a period of seven months.  He was fined $10,000 (10% of his fight earnings).  The fight result was changed from a lopsided decision in favor of Chavez to a no-decision.

Chavez’s record is currently 46-1-1, with 32 knockouts.