Featherweight champ Salido tests positive for steroid

Updated: November 8, 2006, 3:35 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Orlando Salido's reign as a featherweight titlist could be short.

Salido outpointed Robert Guerrero to win a 126-pound belt on last Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Carlos Baldomir undercard in Las Vegas. However, on Tuesday, Salido's post-fight urine sample tested positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone, said Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission.

"Yes, he tested positive," Kizer said. "It"s the most popular of the steroids."

Kizer said the commission will serve Salido with a complaint and that he has 20 days to respond to it in writing.

"After that, he would have a hearing in about two months," Kizer said.

Kizer said that if the commission finds him guilty, the result of the fight probably would be changed from a Salido victory to a no decision.

The positive test probably will cost Salido his IBF belt.

"If Nevada sends us something in writing saying he failed the test, we would declare the title vacant at that point and go with the two highest rated guys to fight for the vacant title. That fight would include Guerrero," said Lindsey Tucker, the IBF's championship committee chairman.

Tucker said the IBF had yet to be officially notified of Salido's failed test.

Javier Zepeda, Salido's manager, had no comment when reached by telephone.

If the Nevada commission finds Salido guilty, he faces a probable suspension and fine, Kizer said.

The maximums are a year suspension and a $250,000 fine, although Salido, who only earned $17,500 for the fight, probably would not get the harshest penalty.

The last boxer to get a year's suspension for a positive steroid test in Nevada was former bantamweight titlist Cruz Carvajal, whose sample came up dirty after a May 2005 bout in Las Vegas.

However, Carvajal was hit hard because he didn't bother to respond to Nevada's complaint and he didn't show up at the hearing.

"It pays to cooperate," Kizer said.

Salido, of Mexico, who turns 26 next week, easily outpointed the favored Guerrero, who was making the first defense of the belt he won Sept. 2.

It was the second world title opportunity for Salido (28-9-2, 18 Kos). He faced then-unified champion Juan Manuel Marquez in 2004 and lost a lopsided decision.

The steroid issue probably won't be as bad for Salido to deal with as was the aftermath of the loss to Marquez. Following that fight, he was arrested for stealing cars in Mexico and went to jail for six months.

In his official biography, Salido called the incident his most embarrassing moment, although it could soon have some company.