BoxingScene.com has reported that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) reduced the fine imposed on former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. who tested positive for marijuana following his unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez last September. A settlement agreement was reached today that knocks the original $900,000 fine, an amount that was hotly contested by Team Chavez, down to $100,000.
This results in a 3.3% fine against Chavez's $3,000,000 purse, a penalty that hardly seems to even be worth imposing. It is a wild swing from the original 30% that was widely criticized as being too harsh for an infraction that involved a non-performance enhancing drug.
While the reduction was determined, in part, by the World Anti-Doping Agency easing its restrictions on marijuana use, one has to wonder how much (if any) weight was given to principles such as professionalism, respect, judgment, character and preservation of reputation when arriving at this adjusted sum. Chavez previously tested positive for a banned substance after a 2009 bout against Troy Rowland, fined $10,000 by the NSAC and suspended for seven months. He was also arrested for drunk driving in February 2012 just weeks prior to his fight with Marco Antonio Rubio. Curiously, the Texas State Athletic Commission failed to drug test either fighter following that bout.
To put it in perspective, middleweight prospect J'Leon Love was today fined 10% of his $100,000 purse ($10,000) and suspended six months by the same NSAC for testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide following his May 4 split decision victory over Gabriel Rosado (the result of the fight has since been overturned to a no-contest). This is his first offense.
The 27-year old Chavez has served a nine-month suspension in connection with the NSAC's initial ruling and will have been out of the ring for a year when he next sees action against Brian Vera, targeted for September 7.
What's even more troubling is that this is the commission that will reportedly be handling the random drug testing of the Bradley v Marquez fight.
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