Top Rank Promotions wasted no time releasing a statement in response to Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions regarding Manny Pacquiao's unwillingness to submit to a blood test in the days leading up to their bout.
Contrary to many reports that surfaced yesterday afternoon, it isn't the blood test itself that Team Pacquiao has an issue with, but more-so the specific agency that will be handling the tests.
Bob Arum, founder of Top Rank stated, “Let’s be very clear on the real issues we differ on. It’s not about being tested. Manny is onboard with that since it’s such a major concern of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. It’s about who does the testing and the scheduling of the procedures. Manny will submit to as many random urine tests requested. Regarding the blood tests, he will subject himself to three tests; one given in January during the week the fight is formally announced, one thirty days from the fight, no later than February 13, and the final one immediately following the fight, in Manny’s locker room.
"The major issue related to the testing rests with which independent agency will administer these tests. The United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) cannot do it because they will not amend its procedures to accommodate the blood testing schedule we have outlined. USADA, under its guidelines, would have the right to administer random blood tests as many times as they want up to weigh-in day and that is ludicrous."
To further disprove the notion that Manny is weary of submitting to a blood test, Arum offered up a solution in an attempt to make this "super fight" the reality it appeared to be just a couple of days ago.
“Our suggestion is to utilize any of the independent agencies that work with the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, or Major League Baseball, since they administer drug testing for their professional athletes.”
While Top Rank, on behalf of Pacquiao, has made it clear that they are willing to submit blood tests up to 30 days prior to the bout (as well as immediately afterwards), some experts, such as New York based athletic physician, Dr. Keith Pyne, feel that it is not a necessity.
"I have more than 800 guys who are special athletes who are all drug-tested. And the urine testing is sufficient that you won't miss anything, especially with performance-enhancing drugs. So, yes, I believe that the urine testing is more than sufficient for boxing. If you're using steroids, it's going to come up for sure in urine. There's no way it's going to get through the liver and the kidney without being detected."
Never one to shy away from a war of words, Arum would conclude that, "If Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions are sincere in creating 'a level playing field,' as they stated in their release, our recommendations should put their minds at ease. If not, one has to wonder if their motives are more about leveling the fight.”
It looks as if Top Rank and Team Pacquiao are willing to do what it takes to make this fight a reality, the ball in back in the court of Floyd Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions, as they represent him for this fight.
Expect more on the story as it develops.
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