Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
Middleweight boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. faces severe penalties, including the loss of his $3 million purse, after testing positive for marijuana following his defeat to Sergio Martinez on Saturday night.The Nevada State Athletic Commission considers marijuana a banned substance, but fight promotor Bob Arum downplayed the significance of the positive test in an interview with ESPN yesterday:
“I can’t really get excited about it. There’s no promoter in boxing who could pass the marijuana test, including myself.”
“Julio is going to have to explain to the commission what happened and the commission will be guided accordingly. If there was a trace of marijuana, to me, it’s not the same as using a performance-enhancing drug. That is cheating.”
Next, the commission will file a complaint against Chavez and hand down its punishment. ESPN says the fining him his entire $3 million purse is unlikely, but since he is a repeat offender — he tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2009 — the commission could hand down a lengthy suspension.
For some context, the commission suspended UFC fighter Nick Diaz for one year and fined him 30% of his $200,000 purse in February. So, if precedent holds, Chavez could still be looking at a ~$1 million fine.
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