Gennady golovkin vs. canelo alvarez ii – the inside story of clenbuterol on a mexican ranch what is hypoxic anoxic brain injury

The white powder is actually clenbuterol, a potent drug that, according to the U.S. Postanoxic encephalopathy definition drug enforcement agency, is often abused by bodybuilders and other athletes for its ability to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. It is illegal for human use in most of the world, including mexico. However, it is used commonly on farms here, administered to livestock to produce the same physical effects.

Originally developed as medication for people with breathing disorders, it became obsolete due to its potentially dangerous side effects, which can include heart palpitations, muscle tremors and anxiety. Though clenbuterol is banned by the world anti-doping agency, a number of athletes – from professional cyclists to soccer stars to elite boxers, such as canelo alvarez – have made headlines, not just for testing positive, but also for the accompanying defense.


Canelo was in los angeles to withdraw from the much-anticipated may 5 rematch against rival gennady golovkin (the two will fight this weekend in las vegas). The mexican boxer had failed two drug tests and faced the possibility of a one-year suspension. He claimed the positive test was the result of his eating beef contaminated with clenbuterol in his home country.

Clenbuterol’s appearance on the banned substance list is enough for any positive test to land an athlete in trouble. In a statement delivered to the nevada athletic commission and provided to ESPN, álvarez said he had eaten beef in mexico on at least six occasions ahead of his positive test in february. That included tacos at a party and tortas from a street vendor.

"Aside from the fat-burning and muscle-building, [clenbuterol] opens up airways and facilitates breathing, it accelerates the metabolic rate and stimulates the central nervous system, so it helps for a faster reaction time," said victor conte, the founder and former president of BALCO, the laboratory at the center of controversy for its role in providing steroids to professional athletes.

"It has the potential to offer those benefits," said dr. Matthew fedoruk, chief science director at U.S. Anti-doping agency, a signatory to WADA. "The problem is that human studies haven’t been done to support this. From an athlete’s perspective, it could possibly have those effects [on humans], but there’s a lot of debate out there as to whether clenbuterol is really anabolic in humans at all. Hypoxic encephalopathy icd 10 some say more through anecdotal evidence that it builds muscle, others are saying that it doesn’t, so the jury’s kind of out there in respect to human beings."

American sports leagues have also contended with similar claims from their athletes. In 2015, then-houston texans offensive tackle duane brown faced a 10-game suspension from the NFL after testing positive for clenbuterol. He had just returned from a vacation in cabo san lucas, mexico, and blamed the result on tainted beef. To fight the charges, brown provided receipts that indicated he had eaten beef in the mexican resort city. After a months-long process, the suspension was revoked.

Stemming from brown’s case, the national football league players association issued a warning for players to avoid consuming beef when traveling to mexico and china, another high-risk country on WADA’s radar. Since 2016, one regular-season game has been played at the estadio azteca in mexico city each year, with the los angeles rams and kansas city chiefs scheduled to play there on nov. 19. Subsequently, the league asked the NFL mexico office director, arturo olivé, to exert greater control over what players eat in the country

Though the knowledge of mexico’s meat situation might register as a minor nuisance for visitors from outside the country, for athletes living, working and training in the country, the situation can prompt bigger issues. "’I’m trying to get used to not eating beef. Because most of the time I’m in mexico, and I’ve stopped eating beef," álvarez said.

In erik morales’ case, a positive test left a lasting effect beyond his athletic career. The former mexican professional boxer who won world championships in four different weight classes, was flagged for clenbuterol in 2012, before his fight with danny garcia in brooklyn. "If it happens to one person, I understand. You might have doubts," said morales. "But think about how many mexican athletes this has happened to, you would have to be crazy to ignore that. It’s no coincidence." garcia agreed to have the fight go on anyway, and proceeded to beat morales. Morales was subsequently suspended for two years by the USADA, retiring shortly after.

Though clenbuterol is banned for use on humans and as a cattle enhancer, it is still legal for veterinarians to prescribe in specific circumstances in mexico. Hypoxia anoxia in these cases, it is generally used on horses with respiratory problems and as a muscle relaxant for pregnant cows to alleviate the birthing process. It is also available for purchase on the internet, largely from overseas distributors. Both of these methods have the potential to leave a paper trail, so some ranchers prefer a third option: black market dealers.

Cows consuming the substance grow significantly larger than their naturally fed counterparts and, as a result, can be in higher demand when it comes time to sell. In some cases, the buyers – who distribute the beef to restaurants, hotels and street vendors all over mexico – specifically ask for cattle raised on the drug because the cuts are leaner and there’s more product to sell. If the ranchers do not comply, they say, the buyers simply move on to someone who will fulfill their request.

"That pushes ranchers into a corner. If their cows are not dirty, there’s a good chance they can’t sell them. And if you can’t sell, you can’t provide for your family," said octavio campuzano, a veterinarian who specializes in bovine medicine and surgery at the national autonomous university of mexico, the country’s largest public university.

Dr. Campuzano notes the need to get product out the door for ranchers can lead to dangerous practices, like higher dosing. "To achieve the desired result, you need a tiny, microscopic amount per cow to develop the muscle." for a group of cows eating from a trough, a few spoonfuls of the drug is enough. "But these people are not experts, and they might think [bigger quantities] will lead to faster, better results," he said.

WADA took notice and released several warnings about contaminated beef in mexico and china. In 2011, the agency stated, "it has been shown that mexico and china have a serious problem with meat contaminated with the prohibited substance clenbuterol, and WADA’s message to athletes competing in these countries remains the same: eat only in restaurants and cafeterias that have been approved by your federation and/or event organizer."

To support their claim, dueñas and his teammates requested a second test from the initial samples. This is known as a "B" sample. They submitted hair follicles, which can store substances up to 90 days, to determine whether traces of the drug were present. Brain anoxia treatment while a single dosage can show up on a urine test, a positive result stemming from hair follicles can indicate repeated consumption. That test came back negative. Concurrently, there were widespread positive results for players from multiple countries at the 2011 FIFA under-17 world cup held in mexico. WADA withdrew the appeal.

Spanish cyclist alberto contador is the best example of this. A urine sample taken during the 2010 tour de france revealed traces of clenbuterol. The two-time tour champ pointed to a seven-pound cut of tainted veal tenderloin he purchased in spain. But his claim did not hold up. Authorities traced the source of the meat and, after inspecting the farm from which it originated, found no evidence cows were being doped with clenbuterol. In 2012, he was found guilty by the court of arbitration for sport, ending a two-year proceeding in which contador was initially punished, then cleared and subsequently retried and penalized. He was also stripped of 13 victories.

At the request of the nevada state athletic commission, canelo álvarez submitted to the hair follicle test on march 29, a month after his original positive urine test. The hair follicle sample came back negative for clenbuterol. "They found traces of clenbuterol in his system and if he was using it (to dope) there would probably still be enough in his system that it would show up in his hair," golden boy promotions CEO oscar de la hoya told ESPN’s dan rafael in april.

But those stories are rare. Campuzano says it’s impossible to regulate the practice of clenbuterol doping. The secretariat of agriculture, livestock, rural development, fisheries and food — the mexican government agency that regulates the production, sale and distribution of cow beef — launched a program in 2015 to eradicate the use of clenbuterol and other substances by providing by-the-book ranchers with a seal of quality, guaranteeing consumers contamination-free meat.