Canelo Alvarez opens up on vegan diet four years after blaming beef for failed drug test

Stacey C. Slagle

Alvarez blamed a failed drug test in 2018 on contaminated meat and the pound-for-pound No.1 has now adapted a vegan diet ahead of fight with Dmitry Bivol next month

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Canelo Alvarez has taken on a vegan diet to prepare for his upcoming fight with Dmitry Bivol on May 7.

Alvarez moves back up to light heavyweight to challenge for Bivol’s WBA title in Las Vegas next month. It’s the first time that undisputed super-middleweight king Alvarez has competed at 175lbs since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

The Mexican’s decision to turn vegan comes four years after he said contaminated meat caused him to a fail drug test. Alvarez tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol just three months before a scheduled rematch with Gennady Golovkin. Alvarez had been advised by PETA Latino to go vegan after the failed drug test, but it took the pound-for-pound No.1 four years to make the switch to a meatless diet.

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Speaking with ESPN Deportes, Alvarez said his body is adapting well to a vegan diet. “I feel very good, my body is adapting very well. My stomach feels very good. I highly recommend it,” he said. “The truth is that I’m not very complicated when it comes to food, I adapt quickly.

“It’s not something I grabbed all at once and gave up everything I was eating. Obviously all week I try to eat what is vegan and if some other day the opportunity arises to eat meat or chicken, I have no problem but I do try to stick to eating vegan all week.”

Alvarez was banned for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It wasn’t the first time a Mexican fighter had credited contaminated meat for failing a drug test, with UFC fighters Brandon Moreno and Francisco Rivera both giving the same reason.

Canelo Alvarez has gone vegan for his upcoming fight


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Although not an anabolic steroid, the drug clenbuterol has fat-burning properties and is often used by athletes to help them drop body fat and lose weight quickly. Following the positive test, Alvarez moved his training camp from Mexico to the United States for the rematch with Golovkin.

Much like their first fight, the rematch between Alvarez and ‘Triple G’ ended in controversy. Alvarez won a unanimous decision despite many people scoring the bout for Golovkin. A third meeting between the pair could take place this September.

In his first fight since 2020, Golovkin became the unified middleweight champion by knocking out WBA champion Ryota Murata. Alvarez will need to get past Bivol next month to set up a highly anticipated trilogy with his rival later this year.

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