The final cherry atop the surprisingly epic duel that was Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III was delivered this week when it was announced that both fighters tested clean of any banned substances.
According to Keith Kizer, the Nevada State Athletic Commission found that Pacquiao and Marquez tested negative in both their pre-fight and post-fight performance-enhancing drug (PED) tests. And while most folks generally accepted the notion that that what they witnessed on November 12 was the end result of a particularly impressive effort by Marquez versus a guy that was a massive favorite going into the fight, conspiracy theories were running rampant in certain dark holes on the internet.
For one thing, in the days leading up to the fight, news broke of Marquez’s trainer, Angel Hernandez, being involved with the infamous BALCO Lab scandal some years back. The generally shadiness as it relates to that endeavor coupled with the prominent role PEDs have had in all things Pacquiao-related over the last couple of years left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
The other PED issue folks had after the match were questions regarding what the yellow substance Marquez had been spotted drinking throughout the fight was. As per The Examiner, however, that drink was nothing more than an electrolyte drink.
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“Water and electrolyte drinks are allowed in the corner. Any electrolyte drink must be brought to the arena in factory-sealed, plastic bottles,” Kizer confirmed.
“Mr. Marquez used water and Pedialyte on Saturday night.”
When the rumors about his trainer first began circulating, Marquez took the suspicion particularly to heart.
“I’ve never taken banned substances. It’s a shame, all my hard work, being thrown into the trash can. I worked very hard and I will do any test they want as long as Manny does, too,” Marquez said at that point.
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Pacquiao also got a clean bill of health, as it applies to PEDs.
“The steroid and drugs tests for Mr. Pacquiao and Mr. Marquez are in. They were all negative,” Kizer said.
With the final Pacquiao vs. Marquez III formality out of the way, the question now becomes: what’s next?