Two-Year Doping Ban For Erik Morales

Mexican professional boxer Érik Isaac Morales Elvira has received a doping ban of two years after he twice tested positive for the banned substance, Clenbuterol last October, prior to his junior welterweight bout with Danny Garcia, according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The 36-year-old Erik Morales was knocked out by Danny Garcia at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on October 20 and it was argued by the critics that the fight should have been cancelled, while the debate about the doping policies of boxing raged anew. Boxers are not subject to a uniform drug-testing policy as the sport has no national governing body.

Before the fight, both the boxers agreed to be tested by USADA and signed a contract that stipulates any adjudication process must go through the agency. The legal process was still ongoing despite the New York State Athletic Commission was notified 24 hours in advance of the Garcia-Morales bout regarding the positive drug test results of Morales. The fight was allowed by NYSAC even though Morales, the first Mexican-born boxer in history to win world titles in four different weight classes, tested positive for Clenbuterol on October 3 and 10.

A portion of USADA’s statement reads professional boxing does not have a universally-implemented, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited anti-doping program, and as a result of the lack of effective testing, many professional boxers and event organizers have contracted with USADA to conduct comprehensive anti-doping programs prior to and during their fights. It also stated that USADA conducts testing programs for professional boxing matches only when both athletes contractually agree to participate in the anti-doping program, which stipulates agreeing to abide by the applicable anti-doping rules, including the rules regarding the adjudication process and sanctioning.

The boxer had said he might retire after the October 20 bout rather than face the potential sanction and had until February 18 to respond to USADA as to whether he would contest the decision, and was granted an extension. A ban of two years was imposed on Morales after he selected not to elect an “independent arbitration process,” according to an announcement by USADA.

The former WBC Light Welterweight Champion, WBC & IBF Super Featherweight, WBC Featherweight (x2), and WBC & WBO Super Bantamweight Champion is famous for his trilogies with fellow Mexican legend three-division champion Marco Antonio Barrera and Filipino octuple champion Manny Pacquiao and ranks #49 on ESPN’s 50 Greatest Boxers Of All Time. Erik Morales has defeated 15 different world champions during the course of his career. At the age of 16, he made his professional debut by knocking out Jose Orejel in two rounds. The record of Morales consists of 52 wins, 36 of these by knockout, and 9 losses (2KO) and he has won eight world titles in four different weight classes and successfully defended his titles fifteen times. The Mexican-born boxer also holds victories over champions Kenny Mitchell, Hector Acero-Sanchez, Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Jose Luis Bueno, Wayne McCullough, Marco Antonio Barrera, Kevin Kelley, Guty Espadas Jr., In Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesús Chávez, Carlos Hernández, and Manny Pacquiao.

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