Pacquiao, Mayweather agree to undergo rigid drug tests—report
MANILA, Philippines–Showing their mutual respect and jumping over any possible roadblocks, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. agreed to Olympic-style drug tests for their mega-fight on May 2 in Las Vegas.
According to a report of the Los Angeles Times, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will supervise rigorous drug tests on the two fighters.
USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart told the LA Times that the agreement will allow is agency to conduct unannounced in-and out-of-competition blood and/or urine tests of the fighters at any point through fight night on May 2 (US time) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“It’s a strong statement of the importance of clean and safe competition to have these two fighters voluntarily agree to have a WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)-level anti-doping program implemented for this fight. We commend them for their stand for clean sport and the message it sends to all those who want to compete clean at the highest levels of all sport,” Tygart said.
He added that both Pacquiao and Mayweather agreed to the stipulations of violating the rules that WADA set.
Once a fighter is tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, he or she faces a four-year ban in the sport.
It will be a devastating blow for both fighters if they are found positive as Mayweather and Pacquiao are both in their late 30s.
Mayweather is 38 years old and Pacquiao is 36, not exactly the age where they still have much left in the tank.
It was Mayweather who first insisted on USADA testing for his bout against Shane Mosley in 2010 after Pacquiao declined for a blood-testing procedure, a move that led to the botched first attempts for a fight between the undefeated American and the eight-division World Champion.
The LA Times report quoted Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, as saying the new drug-testing agreement “stops the rumors and bad speculations.”
“This testing is cosmetic in the sense that it shuts up anyone making false accusations.
“We’ve agreed on the USADA testing, and we’ve agreed to their rules. I believe a lot of this that was spread around [about Pacquiao’s reluctance to test] was unfortunate and nonsensical. There’s not any issue with Manny or Floyd. They aren’t taking performance-enhancing drugs,” Arum said.
Pacquiao previously underwent urine tests for his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 where he suffered a knockout loss in the sixth round.
In their three bouts, Marquez never knocked down Pacquiao.
Following the loss, Pacquiao agreed on both urine and blood-testing procedures which the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, based in Las Vegas, administered for his fights against Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri as VADA’s Margaret Goodman told LA Times.
For the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao quickly agreed to the Olympic-style drug tests.
USADA said it will inform both the Nevada commission and WADA of the test results from Mayweather and Pacquiao.
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