• Sergio Martinez v Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

Chavez fails drug test after Martinez defeat

ESPN staff
September 20, 2012
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has had the misery of losing his WBC middleweight title compounded by a positive test for a banned substance © PA Photos

It has been revealed that in the wake of his WBC middleweight title defeat to Sergio Martinez on Saturday, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr tested positive for a banned substance.

The Mexican fighter, who suffered the first defeat of his professional career by way of a unanimous decision in Las Vegas, was found to have marijuana in his system.

Chavez's promoter, Top Rank, confirmed the positive test and released a short statement in reaction to the news.

"Top Rank is reviewing the situation," Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels said in a statement. "Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will have the opportunity to explain this situation to the Nevada State Athletic Commission."

Samuels said promoter Bob Arum was aware of 26-year-old Chavez's positive test, and Arum was later quoted as saying he was prepared to fight Chavez's corner when it comes to facing the consequences of his misdemeanour.

"You certainly worry about the repercussions, but we have a great commission in Nevada that understands what the social issues are," Arum was quoted as saying by the LA Times. "As far as I'm concerned, marijuana should be legal and you can quote me on that."

Arum said he had been informed that Chavez smoked the drug "three weeks to a month out of breaking camp because he was having trouble sleeping … it was therapeutic use for insomnia".

He also said: "I'm making a moral judgment. It's legal in California … it has therapeutic effects. I'm not going to step back on this one. I don't think there's anything wrong with marijuana, and if I had a vote, I'd vote to legalise it. Let's not be sanctimonious here."

The positive test is Chavez's second in Nevada after he tested positive for Furosemide in 2009, a diuretic that assists weight loss. He took the banned substance in the lead-up to his win over Troy Rowland and was later suspended for seven months, fined $10,000 by the commission and had the official result changed to a no-contest.

Following his defeat to Martinez on Saturday Chavez's record now stands at 46-1-1.

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