Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has expressed outrage at what he calls a “disparity” between separate decisions rendered by The Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the positive, post-fight drug tests of lightweight prospect Mickey Bey, of Cleveland, and Mexican former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
On Wednesday, the NSAC voted 3-2 to suspend and fine Bey for having tested positive for high levels of testosterone in the wake of his third-round knockout of Robert Rodriguez on Feb. 2 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Bey was suspended for three months, fined $1,000 of his $8,000 purse, and his victory over Rodriguez will be declared a no-contest, according to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer. While Nevada’s rules allow for a maximum testosterone to epitestosterone ratio of six-to-one, Bey’s was greater than 30-to-one, according to Kizer.
Last month, the NSAC voted 3-2 to fine Chavez $900,000 and suspend him for nine months as a result of his testing positive for marijuana metabolites after his unanimous-decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez last September in Las Vegas.
The fine represented 30 percent of Chavez’s $3 million purse and the suspension began from the date of his fight with Martinez. Chavez must also produce a clean urine sample to the NSAC prior to his next fight in Las Vegas, in accordance with the ruling.
Chavez’s fine was the second-biggest ever in NSAC history, the other being Mike Tyson’s $3 million for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear. The old record for No. 2 was $200,000 against Bernard Hopkins when he pushed Winky Wright at the weigh-in according to Kizer.
“If the Nevada Commission has one standard of punishment for Americans and one standard of punishment for Mexicans, then they should say that,” said Arum.
“Because that is the only explanation. Because this sends a message, loud and clear, to the Mexicans in Mexico, to Mexican fighters and to Mexican managers. Loud and clear.”
Chavez had tested positive for a banned diuretic following his unanimous decision victory over Troy Rowland in November, of 2009, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In the wake of the fight with Rowland, Chavez was fined $10,000 and suspended for seven months by the NSAC.
Chavez was arrested in January of last year for driving drunk, just a week before his fight with Marco Antonio Rubio in Texas. Chavez later struck a plea deal in mid-June of last year, which granted him three years of probation and ordered him to to attend 30 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, the latter of which he already had completed.
In spite of Chavez’s previous transgressions, Arum still believes the NSAC was to harsh on the 27-year-old Mexican son of the legendary champion.
“The disparity is absolutely unbelievable. One guy is juiced to the ceiling with testosterone, and he could seriously hurt his competitor, and he gets three months and a $1,000 fine,” said Arum, “and the Mexican smoked a joint 10 days before the fight, and he gets a fine of $900,000 plus a nine-month suspension. Just tell me where is the sanity in that? Or, as one might expect, there is one standard that the Nevada Commission uses for Americans and another standard for Mexicans.”
Asked if he was accusing the NSAC of a bias against Mexicans, Arum said, “I’m just saying that the standards are different,” adding, “Mexican fighters should think twice before they perform in Nevada.”
Although Kizer cited “mitigating factors” as well as the fact that it was Bey’s “first offense,” he also called Arum’s comments, “dishonest.”
“The reason that they gave him [Bey] a break on the suspension is that he went to the doctor about a month before the fight, and he told the doctor what he did for a living. He said that he couldn’t take any performance enhancing substances,” said Kizer.
“The doctor actually wrote that in her notes, but then, she went ahead and gave him the stuff. So it sounds like more of an issue with the doctor than the fighter. Two of the commissioners wanted him to do many more months of a suspension. They wanted to give him a break, but not that big of a break, but they were out-voted, 3-2.”
In spite of his legal issue, Chavez successfully defended his belt against Rubio in February of last year in San Antonio despite being in relatively bad shape and having to lose a large amount of weight the day before the fight.
Chavez was in much better physical condition for his seventh-round stoppage victory over challenger Andy Lee last June.
Chavez later dropped Martinez in the 12th round of their HBO PPV-televised fight, but was awarded only four of the 36 rounds scored by judges Dave Moretti, Adalaide Byrd and Stanley Christodoulu, who had Martinez winning, 118-109, 118-109 and 117-110.
Arum said Chavez will return to the ring in Texas on June 22 on HBO.
“He sure as hell isn’t going to fight in Nevada,” said Arum. “We’ll announce the fight once the fighter he is fighting has his next fight.”
In March 2012, IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson failed a drug test that was contractually administered at his choosing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), coming up dirty for synthetic testosterone.
Peterson’s infraction led to his being stripped of the WBA’s belt he won from Amir Khan. Meanwhile, the IBF declined to strip Peterson after a review of his medical records by IBF-appointed doctors ruled that the testosterone levels discovered in Peterson’s failed drug test were not at a level that would enhance his performance.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com