Oscar Valdez has revealed the message of support he has received from Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after being embroiled in boxing’s latest drug testing controversy.
Last week, it emerged the WBC super-featherweight champion had tested positive for phentermine – best known as an appetite suppressant.
Valdez and his team have insisted the fighter did not knowingly take the substance, believing it came from a ‘herbal tea’. The Mexican is still set to defend his title against Robson Conceicao this weekend with the WBC stating they will not strip him of his title.
Valdez is part of Eddy Reynoso’s stable of fighters which includes super-middleweight king Canelo Alvarez.
Canelo was embroiled in a similar controversy in 2018 when he tested positive for clenbuterol, receiving a six-month ban. Canelo and his team maintained the test result was due to contaminated meat in Mexico and was among a string of Mexican boxers to test positive for the banned substance.
It led to the World Anti-Doping Agency raising the allowable threshold for the drug with the WBC later acknowledging that move as ‘confirmation of the innocence’ of Canelo.
Valdez has now revealed the super-middleweight king has spoken to him to reassure him over his future, insisting the truth will eventually come out.
‘We didn’t talk much, just that same day, everybody saw my face when they told me I came back positive,’ Valdez told ESPN.
‘Everybody felt that you know. And I immediately, we immediately stopped training and everybody saw my disappointment.
‘I was in shock. He [Canelo] just walks up to me and tells me, you know, ‘Everything’s gonna be alright, the truth is gonna come out.
‘You know, don’t worry. We all know the way you work, the way you train, we all know that you’re a clean fighter.’
The decision to allow Valdez to fight has been condemned by major names in boxing with former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew insisting ‘boxing could be forced underground’ if Conceicao were to suffer a serious injury in the fight.
Phentermine is banned by the Voluntary Ant-Doping Association but under the WADA code, it is only banned ‘in competition’ – the period which begins on fight day.
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