LAS VEGAS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A boxing promoter said middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana after losing his WBC title in Las Vegas last week.
Chavez, 26, was defeated by Sergio Martinez in a 12-round decision Saturday despite a late-round charge by Chavez that nearly saw him score a last-second knockout. A spokesman for promoter Top Rank Inc., said the company was reviewing the report of a positive drug test, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Chavez's promoter, Bob Arum, who said he was notified of the positive test and spoke with Chavez, who admitted to smoking pot in the weeks leading up to the fight because he was having trouble sleeping. Arum told the Times he would argue for leniency before the commission because marijuana is not a "performance-enhancing drug."
"It was therapeutic use for insomnia," Arum said.
Chavez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) has failed one other post-fight drug test. In 2009, he tested positive for a diuretic fighters sometimes use to lose weight.
Arum said he was standing by his fighter.
"I'm making a moral judgment," he said. "[Marijuana] is legal in California ... it has therapeutic effects. I'm not going to step back on this one: I don't think there's anything wrong with marijuana, and if I had a vote, I'd vote to legalize it. Let's not be sanctimonious here."
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