Professional boxer and two time heavyweight world title challenger Chris Arreola was recently stripped of a victory after he tested positive for marijuana.
In what turned out to be a very tight December 12 bout against Travis Kauffman, Arreola won on a split decision. Two judges voted in favor of Arreola, while the third voted for Kauffman.
But now, almost two months after the decision, boxing authorities have officially changed the ruling to a no-decision, which means that Arreola’s record now has one fewer win and Kauffman’s has one fewer loss.
The decision was made by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which has jurisdiction over the fight since it took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
In addition to stripping Arreola of his victory, the organization also issued the boxer a 90-day suspension. The suspension won’t actually affect Arreola, however, since authorities gave it a retroactive starting date of December 12 and Arreola isn’t scheduled for another fight until sometime in April, after the suspension will have ended.
This isn’t Arreola’s first time running into problems resulting from marijuana use.
In July 2011, after defeating Friday Ahunanya in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Arreola tested positive for marijuana in the post-fight drug test. That victory was also taken away as a result.
“I found out about this , and I’m very disappointed,” Arreola’s trainer Henry Ramirez said.
“It’s extremely frustrating. The fight with Kauffman was a good win for Chris. It was a close fight, an entertaining fight, and now to have the win changed to a no-decision—the second time this has happened—is a big disappointment.”
Marijuana’s place in athletics has been receiving a significant amount of attention in the media lately.
Last month, MMA fighters Rose Namajunas and Michael Chiesa said that marijuana should be removed from the list of banned substances.
Similarly, a group of retired NFL players—along with former football stars Jim McMahon and Ricky Williams—has become increasingly outspoken in their support of marijuana, saying that cannabis could give athletes a healthier alternative to opioids and other prescription painkillers.
And finally, former NBA star Clifford Robinson recently announced his plans to open his own cannabis grow operation in Oregon.