USADA in Cahoots with Floyd Mayweather Against Manny Pacquiao?

| by Alex Groberman

What started out as a quiet murmur has steadily grown and matured into a fully fledged conspiracy theory: the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is in some way biased against Manny Pacquiao.

Although there have been multiple reports on why Pacquiao wasn't on board with the drug testing requirements that Floyd Mayweather Jr. previously set forth, the one that has gotten the least amount of press is the one that is probably the most relevant. Many of Pacquiao more close supporters and associates believe the USADA had an undeniably closer relationship with Mayweather than it did with his Filipino counterpart. Some offhand, unwise comments by various members of the organization did little to dismiss this notion.

As a result, some believed that Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum were not sure that the Colorado Springs-based USADA would treat them as fairly and impartially as they would hope. This was all but confirmed when Arum admitted that Pacquiao and his camp would have zero problems with random drug testing as Mayweather desired, so long as the testing came from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Recently, the Examiner’s Michael Marley discussed the matter with USADA media relations manager Annie Skinner.

"We certainly do not have a bias against any athlete," Skinner told Marley. "We do not have a bias (favoring) one athlete over another. All athletes are presumed to be clean until such time as they are proven otherwise.

"But, when it comes to drug testing, USADA, which is a signatory to WADA rules, regulations and procedures, is the gold standard for sports in the United States. We completely adhere to all the international standards as promulgated by WADA."

Whether or not the USADA is truly more pro-or anti-Pacquiao is irrelevant at this point. The mere fact that the Filipino’s camp isn’t confident in their impartiality is enough to put the Mayweather v. Pacquiao dream fight in serious jeopardy and, as such, is something that needs to be addressed.

The truth is: Where's the proof? Where's the motive?

The USADA has absolutely nothing to gain from unfairly characterizing Pacquiao in any way. The group has no vested interest in Mayweather or any other American boxer, because really, its credibility is far more important than the end result of any specific sporting event.

Nevertheless, the same way Mayweather is entitled to be skeptical about Pacquiao's suspicious reluctance to submit to a fairly ordinary drug testing – Pacquiao has a right to be skeptical about any organization he doesn’t feel is entirely on the up and up.