According to a report on BoxingScene.com Monday, boxing legend and winner of titles in multiple weight classes, Erik Morales, has been charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with anti-doping violations. The banned substance said to be found in his system, causing him to fail the test is clenbuterol.
Morales allegedly tested positive for the banned substance prior to meeting Danny Garcia in their rematch which took place last October. He ended up losing that fight after being knocked out in the fourth round.
In a letter sent to Erik Morales, USADA outlines the possible repercussions the fighter faces following the tainted sample, which would be his first infraction.
“Up to a two (2) year period of ineligibility, as described by Article 10.2 of the Code, beginning on the day you accept a sanction, fail to request a hearing or fail to respond, or the date of the hearing decision in this matter, from participation in any activity or competition organized by or under the auspices of any signatory to the Code or any member of any signatory, including ineligibility from participating or coaching in Olympic, Pan American Games or Paralympic Games Trials, or being a member of any Olympic, Pan American Games or Paralympic Team; and,
“Disqualification of the competitive results obtained subsequent to October 3, 2012, the date your urine Sample #1546299 was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes consistent with Article 10.1 of the Code.
“Furthermore, if it is determined that you are subject to the application of aggravating circumstances as described in Article 10.6 of the Code, your potential period of ineligibility may be increased up to a four (4) year period of ineligibility.”
Erik Morales had planned to retire in the very near future. He mentioned the possibility of perhaps competing one more time in Mexico to say goodbye to his fans. Although any bans imposed by USADA don't necessarily have to be honored by Mexico, it remains to be seen if these new revelations will have any impact on any future plans he may have.
A hero to many in his native Mexico, Morales has defeated 15 different world champions in his illustrious career. He is perhaps most well known for his trilogies with both Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. USADA has given him until Feb. 18 to know what he will do regarding the sanctions.