Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios Show Just How Smoothly Drug Testing Can Go
Once upon a time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. asked Manny Pacquiao to submit to a very rigorous, potentially bothersome performance-enhancing drug test. There is no way to know whether Mayweather legitimately feared that his counterpart was juicing or if he simply wanted to use it as an excuse, but Pacquiao made life a whole lot easier for him by rejecting the request. Eventually, after Mayweather had moved on, Pacquiao relented and said he would take the test – but by then it was too late.
Now, it’s worth noting: Pacquiao has never actually been linked to PEDs. The argument for him being on stuff was always simply based on the notion that he was way too good to be doing what he was doing naturally. That’s not legitimate grounds for suspicion. Furthermore, someone rejecting a strenuous drug test that somehow insinuates he’s a doper when he isn’t is not an indicator that he’s juicing either, despite what some may say. It's mostly just annoying.
After the whole brouhaha with PEDs and Mayweather, Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time. Marquez, at age 39, showed up looked absolutely yoked and boasting more power than he ever had. He ended up beating Pacquiao in the sixth round of their match-up thanks to a counter-punch that he landed a million times previously, but that never did the sort of damage it did that night (because of the newfound power).
About a year prior to Pacquiao-Marquez IV, the latter began working with a known PED peddler named Angel “Memo” Heredia. Right before his guy was slated to fight Marquez for the fourth time, Freddie Roach indicated that there was no way their 39-year-old opponent was clean.
Despite everybody’s suspicions, Pacquiao’s camp didn’t get any sort of special, more intrusive drug-testing for the bout.
Perhaps learning from that mistake, Bob Arum has decided to go with VADA testing for Pacquiao’s upcoming bout against Brandon Rios. (Side note: Rios, hilariously enough, also has ties to Heredia.)
"We're going to use VADA. To me, we've had experience now in two fights with VADA, and they've conducted themselves extremely well. The fighters who have participated have nothing but praise for the way that it was handled. I'm going with the organization that I have a track record with rather than an organization that I have never used," said Arum (via Bad Left Hook).
"That's the point. It's the fighters who are the ones who are affected, and the reports that I received from the fighters in both of those fights -- from the winners and the losers and from everybody -- were very complimentary. In other words, the testing is very important, but it has to be done in a way that is compatible with the fighters' training."
Isn’t it amazing how simple that was? One side wants enhanced drug testing because they think something shady happened in the last fight; the other side doesn’t care. This is the way drug testing in all sports, but particularly combat sports, should go.
Imagine if Pacquiao and Mayweather had been as adult about PEDs as Rios is right now. Boxing history might’ve turned out a lot differently.
Source: Bad Left Hook