- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former welterweight titleholder Antonio Margarito and his trainer, Javier Capetillo, had their licenses temporarily suspended by the California State Athletic Commission on Wednesday pending the outcome of an investigation into the "plaster-like substance" found on Margarito's hand wraps before his fight last Saturday night against Shane Mosley.
"The temporary suspension will remain in effect until CSAC has fully investigated the circumstances surrounding events at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 24, 2009," commission chairman Tim Noonan said in a statement. "A foreign substance was found by California State Athletic Commission staff in the hand wraps of Antonio Margarito before his bout against Shane Mosley at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The substance found in Margarito's hand wraps is currently being analyzed by the California Department of Justice. An investigation as to whether either licensee violated CSAC rules is ongoing."
Noonan said Margarito and Capetillo have been asked to appear at an initial hearing on Feb. 10.
About a half hour before the fight, which Mosley won by dominant ninth-round TKO to regain the welterweight championship, his trainer, Naazim Richardson, objected to the way Margarito's hands were wrapped.
When the wraps were cut off to be rewrapped, officials found what was deemed a "plaster-like substance" in the wraps. Two pieces of gauze, one in each glove, allegedly had the substance on them.
"From what I know, there was a plaster of Paris-like substance in Margarito's wraps and the commission has these wraps under seal and is investigating what kind of substance it is," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes Mosley, told ESPN.com. "I'm happy to see the commission realized how serious the issue is and is acting swiftly. We'll see what the outcome will be of the situation."
"Commission staff will have no further comment until such time as the commission makes a final determination of whether licensee actions in this case warrant fines, suspensions, or the revocation of licenses," Noonan said.
Past opponents of Margarito are watching the outcome of the commission investigation with interest. Attorney Pat English, who represents former Kermit Cintron promoter Main Events and Vinny Scolpino, the manager of Joshua Clottey, sent a letter to the commission on Tuesday to alert the panel of their interest.
"We have seen many allegations in this sport and will form no conclusions until the wraps are tested," English wrote. "However, if they test positive for an illegal substance a logical question will be whether the illegal substance was used in other bouts, and we will ask the commissions of the other states where Margarito fought to make appropriate inquiries."
English asked the commission to forward any test results related to the case.
Margarito has twice knocked out Cintron in welterweight title fights when he was promoted by Main Events, the only two losses of his career. The most recent time came in April 2008 in Atlantic City, N.J., two bouts before Margarito faced Mosley.
Margarito retained a title via unanimous decision against Clottey in December 2006, also in Atlantic City. Clottey would go on to later win a world title.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com
17hMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne