Mayweather used banned IV on eve of fight with Pacquiao
The US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) may have given Floyd Mayweather Jr. preferential treatment when it gave the unbeaten American a belated exemption for a banned IV procedure a day before his superfight against Manny Pacquiao.
This was bared in an exhaustive report on Wednesday by SB Nation’s Thomas Hauser, whose revelations left Pacquiao promoter and Top Rank chief Bob Arum “outraged.”
The report says Mayweather was twice administered a mixture of saline and vitamins, supposedly for rehydration purposes after the official weigh-in on May 1 in a manner that is banned under World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) guidelines, according to SB Nation.
Mayweather unanimously defeated Pacquiao on May 2 in Las Vegas, in a hyped match that was panned worldwide for its lack of activity.
Although the substances given were not banned by Wada, the procedure—administering the substances intravenously—is not allowed because, according to the Hauser report, it can “dilute or mask the presence of another substance that is in the recipient’s system or might be added to it in the near future.”
Although Wada did not have jurisdiction over the fight, Usada claims it follows the world agency’s protocols and standards on drug testing.
Three weeks after the fight, Mayweather received a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from Usada. However, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Bob Bennett said Usada did not have authorization to grant an exemption.
Only the NSAC can provide such exemptions after a request coursed through Usada.
“The TUE for Mayweather’s IV—and the IV was administered at Floyd’s house, not in a medical facility, and wasn’t brought to our attention at the time—was totally unacceptable,” Bennet was quoted as saying in the SB Nation report.
“I’ve made it clear to (Usada CEO) Travis Tygart that this should not happen again. We have the sole authority to grant any and all TUEs in the state of Nevada. Usada is a drug-testing agency. Usada should not be granting waivers and exemptions. Not in this state. We are less than pleased that Usada acted the way it did,” he said.
Bennett said the NSAC wasn’t notified of the exemption until after it was granted. Mayweather applied for the exemption on May 19, more than two weeks after the fight. Usada granted the exemption the day after.
Sought for comment, Arum told USA Today Sports on the phone on Wednesday that the report “is very disturbing.”
“Yeah, I am outraged. But I don’t know what we can do about it. I can’t change the result,” added the 83-year-old boxing Hall of Famer.
The Inquirer tried but could not reach Pacquiao for comment at press time.
The piece of information is controversial because Pacquiao was denied a painkiller’s shot on the night of the fight by Usada, on the basis that the Filipino champ gave no prior indication that he needed treatment for anything.
Pacquiao had requested for a shot of Toradol, a legal substance, for his right shoulder before the fight to ease the pain of a torn rotator cuff.
On May 6, Pacquiao underwent arthroscopic surgery in Los Angeles to repair the tear which he sustained during training and aggravated in the fourth round after raining punches on Mayweather.
Though surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache said the injury would keep Pacquiao off the ring at least nine months, the eight-division world champion seems to be healing at a much faster rate.
Pacquiao is now back to playing basketball with the Mahindra Enforcers (formerly KIA Carnivals), which he coaches in the PBA.
Mayweather is scheduled to fight Andre Berto on Saturday, a bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that is performing poorly in sales, prompting some critics to suspect that the belated information may be a way to prop up interest for what is supposed to be a farewell bout for “Money.”
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