When Manny Pacquiao was first presented with accusations of using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s), he kept silent. When he was accused again, he kept silent. As more people jumped on the dog pile, he finally decided to fight back. He said that he wouldn’t know what a steroid looked like. Someone needed to take this guy behind closed doors and teach him how to handle such serious accusations. Mistake number 1.
When Floyd Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions asked for random, Olympic-style drug tests, his team initially complied. A few days later, Team Pacquiao changed their stance and the fight fell apart. Pacquiao’s team accused Mayweather of making a mockery of the NSAC, while having already demanded a $10 million per-pound overweight penalty – despite the presence of a protocol to handle such infractions already in place and governed by the NSAC. Team Pacquiao belittled a demand of Team Mayweather while eroding the validity of one of their demands. Mistake number 2.
As the sides have gone back and forth over the blood dispute, a few defenses have been offered up. The first defense of Pacquiao’s stance against random drug-testing was that Manny is afraid of needles. That was quickly shot down when his many tattoos were brought up. Mistake number 3.
The next defense was his belief that taking blood so close to a fight would weaken him. That defense sounded a little more believable, as evidenced by his valiant, but losing effort to Erik Morales, after having blood drawn in the week of the fight. This was quickly called into question when the popular HBO series, “24/7”, reportedly revealed that Pacquiao had blood drawn approximately 20 days prior to his two-round destruction of Ricky Hatton. Clearly, a compromise can be reached in the matter. A cut-off for random testing is being demanded by Team Pacquiao, Team Mayweather would be foolish not to comply. Regardless of Team Pacquiao’s slight edge in this part of the argument, mistake number 4.
Today Pacquiao’s team released a written statement (see fighthype.com press release from December 30th for reference), clearly explaining his stance, why they are opposed to random testing, and how their reluctance to comply came about after initially agreeing to do so. In my opinion, this statement was about two weeks late. The press release was a good move on Pacquiao’s part, which still comprises mistake number 5. Had his management team gotten together and gotten their ducks in a row earlier, Manny’s integrity may still be intact, in the eyes of the American public.
I can already see that last sentence will bring about many negative comments, but so be it. That is the reality of the culture of modern sports. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were accused of using PED’s without ever testing positive, but they are still seen as cheaters, based on their handling of their respective situations. It also helps that the parties accusing Bonds and Clemens actually have something to base their claims on. On the other side of the coin, Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte’s cheating days are well behind them, after their PR teams grabbed the bull by the horns and wrestled it into an early grave.
Manny Pacquiao has never failed a drug test, so why should he have to prove he’s clean, above and beyond the standard? The persistence of his accusers, the magnitude of the event, and the will to prove he is clean, come to mind. Roger Clemens slapped his accuser, Brian McNamee with a defamation lawsuit that will do little-to-nothing to prove his innocence. On top of the difficult position Clemens has put himself in, his lawsuit is still bogged down in the discovery phase and will take years to resolve. Will Manny suffer the same fate? Chances are both fighters will be long-retired when the matter is resolved, assuming Pacquiao goes full-force in the matter.
Whatever the outcome of Pacquiao’s defamation lawsuit against his accusers may be, the facts still remain: he has never tested positive, there is little evidence to suggest he has, and his handlers really screwed the pooch on this one. Stay tuned for what I have to say about Team Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions.
After this article reached publication at fighthype.com, the following was discovered;
The latest scene to make my extended version involves the twelve-page legal document that is available for your viewing pleasure at http://www.fighthype.com/media/pdfs/PacquiaovsMayweather.pdf . Refer to page 7, line 8, in which said papers prepared by high-powered attorney Daniel Petrocelli, name one Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the responsible party for a statement made while a guest on “The Boxing Truth” weekly radio show. The event in question was said to have taken place “On or around October 29, 2009,” a Thursday. The radio show in question airs Sunday nights, while host Ricardo Lois acknowledged that Mayweather Jr. has never been a guest on his show. Lois went on to state that Floyd Mayweather Sr. was a guest of their show on November 8, 2009. The remarks highlighted in lines 8-12 were in fact made by Floyd Mayweather Jr. They were, however, made during a different interview than that which was named in the legal documents.
I chose the title “Manny’s Many Mistakes” because it is catchy. Not all of the mistakes in his handling of the PED accusations are his fault. Clearly, this latest mistake is not of his doing. The one thing these mistakes have in common is a damaging effect to Manny’s claim to innocence. These continued blunders by his handlers, and now his legal team, seem to put more scuffs on Manny’s armor than they buff out.
What does this do to Pacquiao’s case? Does it merely stall the case? Does it kill the case? I’ve read of criminal charges being thrown out for lesser clerical errors. This being a civil case may leave it at the mercy of different regulations and could mean little-to-nothing. As soon as I find out the result of this fateful error, I’ll check back in.
I leave you with food for thought. Is it just me, or is the universe trying to tell Manny that he is on the wrong path and that his differences with Mayweather are best settled in the ring?
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