USADA tested Pacquiao 12 times; Roach hopes testing was even
LAS VEGAS, USA - Manny Pacquiao has submitted to random blood testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency “over 12 times” during training camp leading up to his May 2 fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said.
Floyd Mayweather Sr, the father/trainer of Floyd Mayweather Jr, said said he didn’t know how many times his son has had blood withdrawn leading up to the fight.
“I hope it’s even, I don’t know about the other training camp but we’ve been blood tested over 12 times,” said Roach.
A spokesperson for USADA tells Rappler that the Colorado Springs, Col.-based agency has agreed with both parties to conduct testing “in fairness to each athlete. Both fighters will be tested at random, unannounced out-of-competition and in-competition on the night of the fight after its conclusion. Testing numbers will be released at the end of the program.”
Random performance enhancing drug testing from a third party had been a sticking point to making the fight since negotiations first began in 2009. Earlier negotiations broke down when Pacquiao’s camp demanded cut-off periods when blood could not be withdrawn before the fight, while putting no limit on urine testing.
“There was a suspicion - you know how people are when you’re not used to something - that they’ll have some inspectors in the dressing room and right before he comes out they’ll take two pints of blood,” said Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum.
Arum says he is confident now that such a scenario wouldn't occur with USADA, which conducts testing for the Olympics.
Pacquiao had submitted to random pre-fight testing with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) in recent fights. VADA has caught several boxers with banned substances in their systems in recent years, including Andre Berto and Lamont Peterson.
Victor Conte, who was at the center of the BALCO scandal which rocked the sports world a decade ago, tells the New York Daily News that the limited window of testing means it doesn’t qualify as “Olympic-style testing” as Mayweather had called it, adding that either fighter could beat the system if they were so inclined.
“The question is — what was going on for the four months before the testing started? That’s a huge question.” - Rappler.com
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.