Tuesday, 19 June 2012 17:44

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr | Another PEDs Issue?

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, right, and Andy Lee Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, right, and Andy Lee Courtesy: Top Rank Boxing/Chris Farina

Longtime trainer Emanuel Steward has formally asked the Texas State Athletic Commission (TSAC) to submit the results of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's post-fight urine sample.

Urine samples are analyzed for traces of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and the procedure is mandatory for all world championship bouts.

Although fighters are supposed to submit urine samples before and after title fights, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr refused, or was unable, to produce a "mandatory" pre-fight sample.

Presumably thinking a test would be administered after the bout, Andy Lee's team didn't protest and allowed the fight to take place as planned, despite drug testing... or lack thereof.

Although the responsibility to test for PEDs, in this case, belonged to TSAC, the World Boxing Council (WBC) supposedly has a strict stance on PEDs testing in WBC-sanctioned bouts.

According to WBC Bylaws...
Anti-doping tests are mandatory for every world title or elimination bout. When a site for a title bout has no anti-doping facilities, a nearby city will be used. The WBC may print a form setting forth the anti-doping tests and procedures and attach it to registered contracts of champions and challengers. An official WBC laboratory may also be established by the WBC. Both champion and challenger shall adhere to these procedures and policies, and mandatory drug testing will be performed pursuant to the WBC Rules and Regulations herein.

Chavez Jr vs Lee Summary
After having some tactical problems in the first three rounds, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1-1NC, 32KO) got stronger and more aggressive as the bout progressed. And by the end of the fifth, it became obvious to most ringside observers the momentum had drastically shifted in the champion's favor.

Pictured: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr celebrates after stopping Andy Lee
Courtesy of Chris Farina/Top Rank

The finish came in Round 7. Chavez Jr pushed Andy Lee against the ropes and landed a jolting, perfectly-timed right hook on Andy Lee's jaw just as the latter was about to throw a counter of his own. Sensing Lee had been hurt, Chavez Jr, like a shark smelling blood, swarmed Lee and unleashed hard shots to the body and head of his seemingly dazed and weary opponent as he lay against the ropes.

After the champion reeled off a few more power punches, Andy Lee, despite still defending himself, slumped over slightly thus prompting Referee Lawrence Cole to stop the bout at 2:21 of round seven.

Despite the heavily pro-Chavez surroundings and Chavez's celebrity status, Andy Lee was ahead on at least two of the three judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

Pictured: Hall of Fame Trainer, Emauel Steward



"... I always look after all my fighters' health and well-being. I am very concerned about enhanced performance drugs being used by boxers. This is not tennis or golf, " stated Andy Lee's Hall of Fame Trainer, Emanuel Steward."

Steward continued, "Boxing is a physical combat sport where if drugs are used by one fighter then this is a disadvantage against the other fighter and causes serious damage to a fighter's health. Are we going to wait for someone to be killed in the ring before this matter is taken seriously and dealt with?"

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, PEDs and the TSAC... Sound Familiar?
Does Emanuel Steward's request sound familiar? If so, it's because it is.

On February 4th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, the TSAC allegedly forgot to test its combatants, Marco Antonio Rubio and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

An angry Rubio stated after the bout, "The commission didn't even conduct any anti-doping tests which are always done before and after a title fight."

The beaten challenger added, "I truly believe that Chavez isn't the real Champion. Everyone knows that Sergio Martinez is the real Middleweight Champion. Chavez is a protected fighter right now."


Although Team Rubio planned to officially protest the decision loss with the WBC and the Texas State Athletic Commission to have the decision turned to reflect a "no contest" status due to the mitigating factors surrounding the fight, they withdrew the request soon thereafter.

Chavez's No Contest
Although Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's record is being reported as 46-0-1, 32 KOs by some in the media, he has an official No Contest which is occasionally left out. As noted on BoxRec, the WBC Middleweight Champion's record is, more accurately, 46-0-1-1NC, 32KOs.

In 2009, Chavez Jr was suspended following his win over Troy Rowland for using the banned diuretic, furosemide.

As a result, Chavez's victory was changed to a no contest and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was subsequently suspended for seven months and fined $10,000 by the Nevada Boxing Commission. 

Banned under the Olympic Anti Doping Code, prescription diuretics enable users to lose excessive amounts of fluid thereby causing quick and temporary weight loss. As a result, a fighter can effectively meet a weight that's far lower than his overall size and muscle mass would suggest.

So although a fighter who uses diuretics to make weight may weigh the same as his opponent the day before the bout, he still may have a big - and unfair- size advantage because he's retained the body and muscle mass of a larger man.


In addition, by the time the bout takes place the next day, the 'user' has usually re-hydrated and literally gained 15-25 lbs of water weight over night.

Diuretics also often help mask the by-products of other illegal, more serious drugs. So although they cannot be used to enhance performance themselves they, in addition to causing dramatic, temporary weight loss, are effective in hiding the presence of other drugs that do enhance performance.

Interestingly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was successful in gaining a whopping 20 lbs from the time of the weigh-in to the time he entered the ring in previous bouts against Sebastian Zbik last summer and Marco Antonio Rubio in February.

Most middleweights typically gain 4-12 pounds in the same period.

Arum Rebukes Steward
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's promoter, Bob Arum, downplayed Steward's request, telling BoxingScene, "This just ludicrous. There was a piss test."

He added, "I know this for a fact, I know Julio did the urine test at the arena right before the fight. As far as Julio's weight gain (from 160 to 180 pounds), well so what? That is certainly within the rules."

At this moment, neither fighter is known to have tested positive for PEDs but its not yet known to what extent drug testing was performed.

Video: Chavez Jr vs Lee - 7th and final round

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.