LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. acknowledges the crowd prior to stepping into the ring to fight Sergio Martinez for their WBC middleweight title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on September 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Boxing star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. failed his drug test with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Chavez was tested following his HBO PPV fight last weekend with Sergio Martinez. The culprit? Marijuana.
This marks the second failed drug test in Nevada for Chavez, as he tested positive for a diuretic to assist with weight cutting in 2009. With two offenses in Nevada, Chavez is looking at a possible 1 year suspension, though no official decision has yet been made, and the boxer will have a chance to argue his side in front of the NSAC.
For UFC fans, this situation will likely bring to mind a similar incident earlier this year involving Nick Diaz, who tested positive for marijuana after his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit. Like Diaz, Chavez was in a very strong position, marketing-wise, and now finds himself unable to capitalize on that momentum. Despite losing to Martinez, Chavez gained respect for a late fight rally, and talks were already underway for Chavez vs. Martinez II. That fight will likely have to be postponed at this point.
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For a fighter who already has a reputation for being lazy, plus a previous failed drug test, this should not win Chavez any fans. But then again, fans rallied behind Diaz after his suspension, arguing that marijuana should not have been considered a banned substance. In Diaz's case, he had a prescription drug card in California - though that did not sway the NSAC. Will Chavez use the same defense here? And what will the final decision on his suspension be? For now, we'll have to wait and find out, but expect this to once again open up the debate regarding marijuana's place on the banned substance list.