It didn’t take long for the accusations to fly.
Just days after newly minted welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao delivered his biggest victory over the larger Miguel Cotto, the “S” word reared its ugly head. Again.
Floyd Mayweather, Sr., started the ball rolling in a September interview with the Grand Rapids Press, in which he accused Pacquiao of using steroids.
“I think they’re pushing Pacquiao a little too much, even if he’s got 'roids in his body,” Mayweather, Sr., said.
Many, like me, saw the comments as typical Mayweather bluster and discarded it as pre-fight hype junk mail.
Then, Floyd Sr. came again, implying that Pacquiao was using “something illegal” when discussing a possible match with Floyd Jr. to Sports Illustrated.
Days later, junior welterweight Paulie Malignaggi reiterated the accusations, saying "there is something up" with Pacquiao but wouldn’t comment specifically.
And the media, hungry for more Mayweather-Pacquaio fodder, has continued to fuel the steroid discussion.
Let’s be real, folks, and look at the facts.
Pacquiao, like all other boxers, must urinate in a cup minutes after their fights under the scrutiny of witnesses and officials.
They are tested for dozens of drugs and performance-related chemicals, similar to a Tour de France rider.
The pound-for-pound king has tested clean his entire career, including the victory over Cotto.
Pacquiao’s strength coach, the usually reserved Alex Ariza, felt compelled to defend his fighter, detailing the boxer’s 7,000-calorie diet, approved supplemental intake, and natural physique.
"Manny is such a clean person," he said, "he will not even take Advil.”
For those wondering how the once-106-pound light flyweight is competing against and destroying 147-pound welterweights, they should merely look in the mirror.
How many 30-year-olds can look at themselves and see the same body they had when they were 16?
When I was 16, I was 5'9" and weighed 130 pounds. At the age of 30, I was 6'0" and somewhere north of 195 pounds.
Nobody is accusing me of hitting the juice.
Whether it’s hype, jealousy, or just plain ignorance, it’s time to drop the steroid discussion on Pacquiao until some real evidence surfaces.
Focus on the matter at hand—Pacquiao’s seven titles in seven weight classes as a historical feat, earned naturally until proven otherwise.
If that’s not enough for you, how about Pacquiao-Mayweather in 2010?