Things are starting to go downhill for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
After the previously undefeated fighter lost his middleweight championship to Sergio Martinez on September 15, the boxer tested positive for marijuana. As a result, Chavez could now lose his $3 million purse from the fight, according to the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald).
The fighter will get a chance to state his case to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but he could receive a one-year ban from the sport.
This is obviously an interesting situation, as it's not directly comparable to testing positive for steroids or another performance-enhancing drug.
Top Rank's Bob Arum spoke to Dan Rafael of ESPN about the situation:
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.
Of course, we're disappointed in him. Hopefully, he can learn a lesson here and next time get in top shape for the fight. But it shows you the immaturity here. He needs to grow up.
While the drugs taken might not have given Chavez a competitive advantage, the former champ deserves the suspension.
After all, this isn't the first time he's dealt with this type of problem.
Chavez was suspended for seven months after testing positive to a diuretic in 2010, according to Brett Okamoto of the Las Vegas Sun. Diuretics are often used to help lose weight, but also sometimes to mask drug use.
The suspension was relatively lenient, but it should have been a warning sign for the 26-year-old fighter to straighten himself out.
It seems he did not get the message.
Does Chavez deserve a suspension for marijuana use?
Instead, Chavez has put his career in jeopardy by using a recreational drug. I don't mean to condone steroid use, but at least that would have been understandable in a sense as he tries to help his career. Marijuana use just shows his immaturity as a fighter and as a person.
Things are made more complicated by the fact that he is the son of a boxing legend.
One would hope that Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. would have set a better example. However, the star has admitted to using drugs and alcohol as little as a few days before fights, according to Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times.
Regardless of your opinion on the matter, marijuana is an illegal drug and it is banned in boxing. The younger Chavez needs to know better than to hurt his career by doing something so childish.
This will likely remove any chance of a rematch against Martinez and hurt his ability to get back toward the top of his weight class.
Fortunately, he should have time to redeem himself in the future. Hopefully, he does not make the same type of mistake again.