Raymundo Beltran tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol following his second-round knockout of Takahiro Ao on May 1 in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and his June 27 fight against Humberto Soto has been canceled.
Beltran faces a disciplinary hearing in front of the commission, which will likely suspend and fine him. The result of the bout also likely will be changed from a Beltran victory to a no decision.
Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada commission, told ESPN.com Monday that the positive test came back late last week. He said Beltran's positive result came from his postfight urine test.
"Just disappointed. I'm disappointed for Beltran and I'm disappointed for us, but eventually fighters are going to learn not to try to cheat the system," Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, Beltran's promoter, told ESPN.com. "I feel worse about it that it happened to [Ao promoter] Mr. [Akihiko] Honda and our friends from Teiken Boxing and that their fighter, Ao, was hurt by all this."
Beltran was supposed to challenge Ao, a former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder from Japan, for a vacant lightweight world title on the nationally televised card at the Cosmopolitan on May 1.
However, Beltran, who looked much stronger and thicker than Ao on fight night, did not make weight and was, therefore, not eligible to win the 135-pound belt. The fight went on and Ao would have won the belt had he been victorious. But Beltran blew him away, plowing through him for a one-sided knockout victory.
"I talked to Ray and he doesn't think he took anything illegal," Cameron Dunkin, Beltran's manager, told ESPN.com. "I asked him if he had been taking any pills and he said he took some supplements he was given by his guys, but he didn't think they had anything [illegal] in them. I'm getting a list of what he was taking.
"He's devastated about the Soto fight. Who wouldn't be? He feels betrayed by somebody who was working with him, but he doesn't know by who. He has three different guys who work with him but somebody really let him down. Someone didn't look out for him. This is terrible. There's nothing else to say."
BoxingScene first reported the positive test.
Less than two weeks ago, Beltran, a former two-time lightweight world title challenger, agreed to move up to junior welterweight to face former lightweight and junior lightweight world titleholder Soto on June 27 in the opening bout of an HBO telecast headlined by Timothy Bradley Jr. and Jessie Vargas squaring off for a vacant welterweight title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Beltran (30-7-1, 18 KOs), 33, a native of Mexico living in Phoenix, and Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs), 34, of Mexico, were set to go through a random drug testing program by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in advance of the bout. Now the fight is off and HBO, Top Rank and Golden Boy, Soto's promoter, are looking for an opponent to replace Beltran on the card.
Moretti said one possible opponent is Jose Felix Jr. (29-1-1, 24 KOs), 23, of Mexico, a Top Rank boxer who is training for a June 13 UniMas-televised bout, but has no opponent yet.
HBO said it plans to keep Soto on the telecast. It is the second fight in a month that has been canceled on Soto, through no fault of his own. The reason HBO found a spot for him on June 27 was because his fight against Frankie Gomez on May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston -- the co-feature of Canelo Alvarez-James Kirkland -- was canceled the day before the bout because Gomez was 6½ pounds overweight at the weigh-in, which cost Soto a low six-figure payday.