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Valero enters rehab following arrest

3/30/2010 - Boxing

CARACAS, Venezuela -- WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero entered a rehabilitation center Sunday for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, according to one of the boxer's lawyers.

Milda Mora said Tuesday that Valero entered the rehab center in the Venezuelan city of Merida under court orders following his arrest on charges of harassing his wife, threatening medical personnel who treated her and resisting arrest.

The 28-year-old Valero must attend a series of anger management courses after he leaves the center.

Mora told The Associated Press that Valero tested positive for drug and alcohol use after he was arrested on Thursday. Mora did not provide details regarding Valero's addiction problems, but she said he's hyperactive and suffers from depression.

Police detained Valero following an argument he had with a doctor and nurse at a hospital in Merida, where his wife was being treated for a series of injuries, including a punctured lung and broken ribs.

Valero accused a police officer of pressuring his wife, Jennifer Carolina Viera, to tell authorities her injuries were the result of domestic violence, Mora said. Viera has not publicly commented on the incident.

"There was a verbal argument, but no blows," Mora said.

The boxer's attorney said Viera was injured when she fell down a flight of stairs at the couple's home while checking a water tank located on the roof.

Valero, Venezuela's top-rated boxer, retained his WBC lightweight belt last month by stopping Mexico's Antonio DeMarco, improving to 27-0. None of his bouts have gone the distance.

Jose Sulaiman, president of the World Boxing Council, said in a statement that the organization supports Valero's therapy and hopes he "becomes an example of determination and courage for the world's youth."