WBC orders Shinsuke Yamanaka vs. Luis Nery rematch


In October of 2016, Luis Nery enrolled in the WBC Clean Boxing Program’s (“CBP”) out-of-competition anti-doping testing by virtue of being rated in the top 15 in the bantamweight division of the WBC world ratings.

On August 22, 2017, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) reported to the WBC that Mr. Nery’s “A” sample collected on July 27, 2017 in Tijuana, Mexico, yielded adverse analytical findings for Zilpaterol (the “Finding”). [1] The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) includes Zilpaterol its list of banned substances, which list VADA uses as reference, thus making Zilpaterol banned under the WBC Clean Boxing Program in which Mr. Nery is enrolled. Mr. Nery did not request analysis of the corresponding “B” sample.

The WBC undertook an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Finding pursuant to the governing WBC Rules & Regulations and WBC CBP Protocol. The WBC, through Mr. Nery’s promoter, Promociones Zanfer, requested that Mr. Nery provide a formal thorough written submission from including information, schedules, activities and materials related to the circumstances that resulted in the adverse finding. Mr. Nery provided a sworn statement representing to the WBC that he had ingested substantial amounts of beef and beef consommé daily as part of his dietary/training regime in Mexico during several weeks preceding the adverse finding which was from a sample taken in Tijuana where he based his training camp. Mr. Nery and his camp have emphatically denied taking any performance enhancing drugs or any banned substance.

The WBC also contacted WADA to obtain additional information about Zilpaterol and WADA never responded to the WBC’s inquiries.

Based on the information available to the WBC, the WBC finds as follows:

1. Luis Nery is enrolled in the WBC CBP by virtue of being rated among the top 15 boxers in the WBC Bantamweight world ratings.

2. The anti-doping test of sample collected in Tijuana, Mexico from Mr. Nery on July 27, 2017, yielded adverse analytical findings for Zilpaterol.

3. Zilpaterol is a banned substance under the WBC CPB by virtue of its inclusion in WADA’s List of Banned Substances which VADA uses as its reference.

4. Mr. Nery’s positive test took place as part of the out-of-competition portion of the WBC CBP, during the contract process for the Yamanaka vs. Nery fight, with out of competition and after the fight testing being in place.

5. To the best of the WBC’s knowledge, Mr. Nery has never tested positive for any banned substance in any tests he has undergone during his boxing career, and has tested negative in the WBC fights he has competed in. Mr. Nery is an undefeated boxer in 24 bouts, he is the former WBC Continental Americas and Silver champion and presently holds the WBC Bantamweight World Championship. Mr. Nery has been tested 4 times during his enrollment in the WBC CBP.

6. Mr. Nery was tested 3 times after producing the sample that resulted in the Finding and those additional tests have been negative, all three tests were taken in Japan.

7. The WBC received the following information and materials which constitute extenuating circumstances: (1) the representation from Mr. Nery and his promoters that he ingested substantial amounts of beef and beef consommé daily as part of his dietary/training regime in Mexico during several weeks preceding the Finding.; (2) a showing that governmental agencies from several countries, including the Mexican National Sports Ministry, view Zilpaterol akin to Clenbuterol, which, has also been found as a beef contaminant and has been detected in many athletes that reside, or have trained, in places like Mexico, where both Zilpaterol and Clenbuterol appear to be used fairly liberally; and (3) the specific concerns about Clembuterol and Zilpaterol as a beef contaminant have led to the design of specific protocols by authorities in several countries, including Mexico, to deal with beef contaminated with those substances; (4) the WBC, via the direct intervention of its President, Mauricio Sulaiman, consulted with the Health Ministry of Mexico as well as with the Sports Ministry about this specific case to get in depth information about meat contamination from those two substances and its relationship with doping findings in sports.

8. The WBC dealt with an adverse finding for Clembuterol in another WBC World Championship fight (Vargas v. Salido), which finding resulted from a sample collected several weeks before the fight. In that case, the WBC found that the fighter in question (Vargas) tested positive for that substance due to ingestion of contaminated beef and beef products in Mexico. The WBC’s ruling in that case subjected the fighter to a strict pre-fight testing regime. All subsequent tests were negative and the fight took place without any incident.

9. The Adverse finding notification was reported several days after the fight took place, so in fact the event took place.
The present WBC Board of Governor’s ruling is based on the facts as known to the WBC at the time of the ruling and on any extenuating circumstances as set forth above.

Based on the Findings in Mr. Nery’s “A” July 27, 2017, sample, and taking into account all factors set forth above, including any extenuating circumstances, the WBC has ruled as follows:

1. Based on the evidence the WBC examined concerning this matter, the WBC cannot make a determination with sufficient certainty as to whether Mr. Nery’s adverse finding was the result of intentional ingestion of a banned substance to improve performance. All information and facts lead to conclude that the adverse finding was due to consumption of contaminated food products;

2. The WBC hereby orders an immediate rematch between Mr. Nery and Shinsuke Yamanaka, which details shall be governed by the immediate rematch provisions of the WBC Rules & Regulations;

3. Mr. Nery shall be subjected to a strict dietary regime supervised by Dr. Philip Goglia, Chairman of the WBC Nutrition Committee, at Mr. Nery`s sole cost and expense;

4. VADA, pursuant to the WBC CBP, shall design a specific random testing protocol for Mr. Nery at his own cost and expense. The VADA-designed protocol shall commence as soon as feasible after this ruling and shall continue for six-months thereafter, or up to the date of the Immediate Rematch, whichever time is longer; and

5. While the WBC continues to investigate the effect of contaminated beef products in tests’ results obtained pursuant to the WBC CBP, the WBC will make a formal request to WADA and VADA to establish specific measures and protocols to address Clembuterol and Zilpaterol.

[1] VADA reported the Finding to the WBC after Mr. Nery’s August 15, 2017, fight for the WBC World Bantamweight Title against Shinsuke Yamanaka had already taken place.

The WBC is currently working with the Mexican health authorities addressing the contamination of beef products and the effect that such contamination is having on anti-doping testing results and programs, specifically the WBC CBP.