The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) ruled this afternoon that former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. be fined $900,000, equating to 30% of the $3,000,000 purse he was paid to defend his title against Sergio Martinez on September 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, for testing positive for marijuana following the fight. The Mexican also received a nine-month suspension, running from the date of the Martinez bout in which he lost a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision.
It had previously been reported that attorneys for Chavez had requested the fighter be fined no more than $10,000 and suspended for a maximum of six months. This seemed to be rather lax given the former champion's history, testing positive for the banned diuretic Furosemide following his fight with Troy Rowland in Las Vegas in 2009.
In that particular case, Chavez was fined $10,000 and suspended for seven months so it stood to reason that a second offense of any kind would carry harsher penalties. However, this is boxing and Chavez is the son of a beloved Mexican legend with deep ties to WBC President Jose Sulaiman who has downplayed the severity of marijuana use since it is not a performance enhancing drug.
While the fine is substantial, the suspension is somewhat inconsequential as it will permit Chavez to return to the ring as early as June 15, with a lucrative rematch with Martinez targeted for the Fall.
We shall see what, if anything, the young star has learned from this entire experience and how he responds when he gets back into the ring with a potential new team surrounding him.
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