Not too long ago, performance-enhancing drug (PED) testing was seen as the major stumbling block that was preventing a Dream Match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather from happening. Mean-spirited public media wars. Legal battles. Lost partnerships. All of those things ensued because of the accusations made by Mayweather regarding Pacquiao allegedly abusing PEDs.
In retrospect, given everything we’ve been through, it’s crazy when you remember how big of an issue that was. Does anyone still seriously believe that Pacquiao was or is on some sort of enhancers? Even Mayweather doesn’t buy that anymore. When he initially made the PED testing claims, he merely did it as a precaution. When Pacquiao refused to give in to his demands, it became a point of pride for Floyd – get your arch rival to submit to your will. It was never really about PED testing, as we can now see quite clearly.
Recently, while doing press for his upcoming bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao opened up about steroids in sports. While he didn’t specifically cite Mayweather in his comments, there is only one truly legitimate guy who has ever accused him of being on stuff – so the inference was clear.
"When I think about (Lane Armstrong) . . . that is why I never have used drugs like steroids for my career,'' Pacquiao told USA TODAY Sports.
"Why use illegal drugs — steroids — and ruin your name? You can't be proud if you are using performance-enhancing (substances) when you're on top. It's kind of cheating the people and your opponent. You can be successful without using. If you use, you don't believe 100% in yourself.''
It’s interesting that Pacquiao is choosing now to speak out on this. You will recall, when Mayweather was making his claims, the Filipino champ simply let his lawyers do the talking for him. Now, perhaps because he realizes nobody thinks he’s on anything, he is finally being open about the controversial issue.
Pacquiao was never on anything. Mayweather knows it. We know it. And his most ardent, judgmental critics – they know it, too. It’s good to see that he is finally comfortable enough with the issue to acknowledge it.
(Kudos USA TODAY Sports)