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article imageOp-Ed: How can Mayweather clean up the sport if he isn't clean?

By Leo Reyes     Sep 11, 2015 in Sports
Floyd Mayweather almost made people believe he is a clean fighter — until he was reported to have taken a banned intravenous injection to address possible dehydration a day before his super fight against Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather has been praised for his advocacy to clean up the sport by pushing his own version of Olympic-style random blood and urine testing, which was a precondition that boxers including himself should undergo before the fight.
The reason it took more than five years to negotiate with Pacquiao for their "Fight of the Century," which he won by unanimous decision in Las Vegas, Nevada, last May, was Mayweather's insistence that the tests be carried out at random all the way up to the day of the fight. Pacquiao found that condition difficult to comply with.
Mayweather also insisted the tests be conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a drug testing agency that was later discovered to have made it easy for him to take banned medications by not reporting it to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) in a timely manner.
A case in point is the recent discovery by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing agents that Mayweather had IV injections a day before the Pacquiao fight.
In a report by Thomas Hauser of SBNation.com, testing agents of the USADA found evidence of an IV being administered on Mayweather a day before the fight. The intravenous is prohibited under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines.
Bob Bennett of the the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), the state agency that has jurisdiction over boxing fights in Nevada, learned three weeks later that Mayweather was given a therapeutic use exception (TUE) by USADA.
Mayweather's preference for USADA testing raised questions about his relationship with USADA, which was recently bolstered by an unusually high fees being collected by the doping agency for its services.
"USADA’s contract called for it to receive an up-front payment of $150,000 to test Mayweather and Pacquiao," said Hauser.
Floyd Mayweather chatting with Manny Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather chatting with Manny Pacquiao
Grant Smith / Twitter
In denying his involvement in the ongoing NSAC-USADA rift brought about by IV infusion, Mayweather said he is proud to be a clean athlete.
“Let’s not forget that I was the one six years ago who insisted on elevating the level of drug testing for all my fights. As a result, there is more drug testing and awareness of its importance in the sport of boxing today than ever before. I am very proud to be a clean athlete and will continue to champion the cause,” Mayweather said.
While Mayweather has historically hurdled all tests conducted by USADA, his close relationship with the agency raised questions about its fairness and honesty in dealing with potential adverse findings that may surface in the process.
One of the contentious issues tackled during the negotiations for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight had something to do with random drug testing. The reason why it took them over five years to negotiate was Pacquiao's refusal to be tested by USADA, as he was well aware of Mayweather's relationship with the testing agency.
Mayweather's camp previously accused Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs, which Pacquiao denied. The accusation led to a lawsuit which they later settled amicably with Mayweather paying damages to Pacquiao for a defamation case.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
Jun Aquino/MP Promotions
USADA and Mayweather have issued statements saying everything is above-board regarding insinuations that they did not follow the rules or guidelines by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in connection with the IV infusion.
USADA claimed the agency is allowed by the rules to issue therapeutic use exemption (TUE) which they did in the case of the IV infusion to Mayweather.
What isn't clear is why it took USADA almost three weeks to release the TEU and why they failed to get prior approval from NSAC.
In his statement, Mayweather insists that he is a clean fighter but as of this time it is difficult to believe that he is clean pending the NSAC decision and action.
If Mayweather isn't clean, how can he clean the sport and elevate the level of drug testing in his fights?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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