Floyd Mayweather Denies Taking Banned Substances Before Manny Pacquiao Fight

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Floyd Mayweather Denies Taking Banned Substances Before Manny Pacquiao Fight
John Locher/Associated Press

Hours after the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a statement denying Floyd Mayweather Jr. took an illegal IV prior to his May bout with Manny Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king fired back at the SB Nation report that called his clean performance-enhancing drug record into question.

"As already confirmed by the USADA Statement, I did not commit any violations of the Nevada or USADA drug testing guidelines," Mayweather said in a statement, per Callum Harris of Boxing Mad Magazine. "I follow and have always followed the rules of Nevada and USADA, the gold standard of drug testing."

Mayweather's statement comes a day after a Thomas Hauser-written profile claimed he illegally used an IV a day prior to the Pacquiao bout. According to Hauser's account, USADA agents found evidence after the pre-fight weigh-ins, which would have been a violation of World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. IVs are banned due to their ability to mask other substances such as PEDs.

The USADA released a statement Thursday saying Mayweather had received a waiver for the IV and that Pacquiao's camp was aware of its use:

Although the articles in question contain a multitude of errors, all of which will be addressed at the appropriate time, we believe it is important to immediately correct the record regarding the false suggestion that Floyd Mayweather violated the rules by receiving an IV infusion of saline and vitamins.

As was already publicly reported in May of this year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Mr. Mayweather applied for and was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) by USADA for an IV infusion of saline and vitamins that was administered prior to his May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao. Mr. Mayweather’s use of the IV was not prohibited under the NSAC rules at that time and would not be a violation of the NSAC rules today. Nonetheless, because Mr. Mayweather was voluntarily taking part in a USADA program, and therefore subject to the rules of the WADA Code, he took the additional step of applying for a TUE after the IV infusion was administered in order remain in compliance with the USADA program. Although Mr. Mayweather’s application was not approved until after his fight with Mr. Pacquiao and all tests results were reported, Mr. Mayweather did disclose the infusion to USADA in advance of the IV being administered to him. Furthermore, once the TUE was granted, the NSAC and Mr. Pacquiao were immediately notified even though the practice is not prohibited under NSAC rules.

Hauser also called into question Mayweather Promotions' cozy relationship with the USADA, which runs testing for his fights. The report indicates that Mayweather is not necessarily subject to a "365-24-7" testing schedule the way Olympic athletes are—that his testing only really begins once a fight is announced. 

After the USADA's statement, Hauser released his own rebuttal, via BoxingScene.com, which read in part:

No amount of self-serving rhetoric from USADA can change the following unrebutted facts:

(1) The IV was administered at Floyd Mayweather’s home after the weigh-in on May 1. USADA learned about the IV on that date.

(2) The 2015 WADA “Prohibited Substances and Methods List” states, “Intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50 ml per 6 hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations.”

(3) The above-referenced prohibition is in effect at all times that the athlete is subject to testing. It exists because, in addition to being administered for the purpose of adding specific substances to a person’s body, an IV infusion can dilute or mask the presence of another substance that is already in the recipient’s system or might be added to it in the near future.

(4) Mayweather-Pacquiao was contested on May 2.

(5) Mayweather applied for a therapeutic use exemption on May 19 (seventeen days after the fight).

(6) USADA granted the therapeutic use exemption on May 20 (eighteen days after the fight).

(7) USADA did not notify the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the IV until May 21 (nineteen days after the fight).

“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," Mayweather said. "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.”

Pacquiao, however, feels vindicated by Hauser's report in light of the accusations lobbed at him in the past by Mayweather.

"Truth finally came out and I was vindicated,” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN’s Francis Canlas. “[The] Mayweather camp used to accused me of using PED (performance enhancing drugs). Now, look at what happened.”

In essence: Mayweather and the USADA are doing their best to say Hauser's report was much ado about nothing. They claim Mayweather is clean, applied for the waiver and went above and beyond his requirements and that there should be no controversy heading into his bout with Andre Berto.

Whether you choose to take those quotes at face value or believe the USADA-Mayweather camps are doing their best to keep something under wraps is another question entirely.

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