One month after the Pacquiao-Margarito fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has finally bared the post-drug test results conducted on Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao and Mexican Antonio Margarito.
The result: Both boxers were found clean.
Dan Rafael of ESPN narrated his month-long wait for the drug test result, citing the reasons for the delay. He wrote in his December 11 column:
"My view is that since boxing is regulated by a state agency, and therefore run with tax-payer money, anyone has the right to know if the participants tested clean or dirty after a fight. Texas needs to seriously consider changing its rule. I was not asking for any private medical information about anyone, simply a negative or positive result on a drug test performed after a fight that was a public spectacle".
Boxing fans have been anxiously waiting for the test results especially the state department's findings on the samples drawn from Pacquiao who has been accused by Floyd Mayweather of taking performance enhancing drugs.
"With Pacquiao-Margarito there was, of course, much more fan interest than usual over the test results because of the rumors and innuendo that have surrounded Pacquiao (simply because of unfounded accusations from Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his people that Pacquiao uses performance enhancing drugs). There was also increased suspicion about Margarito because of what played out in the dressing room at Cowboys Stadium before the fight, when he was suspected of taking a banned substance with a cup of coffee".Dan Rafael added.
The post-fight drug test result has somehow reinforced Manny Pacquiao's claim he is a clean fighter, contrary to Mayweather's unsubstantiated accusations he is taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Shortly after the Pacquiao-Hatton fight in May 2009, Floyd Mayweather Sr accused Manny Pacquiao of using PEDs.
It may be recalled that Mayweather Sr acted as Ricky Hatton's trainer when Pacquiao fought the British boxing icon. Hatton lost to Pacquiao via second round knock out.
The highly publicized Pacquiao-Mayweather match has not materialized after going through at least two phases of highly charged negotiations mainly due to disagreement between the negotiating panels on the random drug testing protocols as demanded by Mayweather Jr before he signs up to face Pacquiao in the ring.
Mayweather has demanded Olympic style drug test (OSDT) which calls for a random drug test all the way up to the day of the fight.
Boxing critics say Mayweather is not asking for the real or genuine OSDT which is based on year-round competition. They say Floyd is proposing a compressed set period of testing which is not OSDT.
Popular Bleacher Report Writer Joseph Croasdaile, in one of his comments regarding OSDT, said:
He is trying to take a testing procedure that is year round based and compressing it into a scheduled or set period of time.. The random testing protocol utilized by many international sports and the Olympics is not design for this usage and is intended for year round testing for a reason.
Floyd is proposing a scheduled period of random testing...
Boxing should impose true full / random drug testing that is recognized by the international community / Olympics for the following reason
1) less invasive
2) truly random
3) fighters are not singled out
4) keeps the sport cleaner
Floyd's bastardized testing...
1) more invasive
2) random for a set period of time (detractors say this means it is not random)
3) fighters are singled out
4) doesn't really keep the sport clean
Still other critics say the random test being proposed is fair to both Mayweather and Pacquiao as they will have be subjected to exactly the same procedures as agreed upon by both parties under USADA's supervision.
The random drug testing being proposed by Mayweather's camp has been the subject of heated debates on sports blogs and on print and broadcast media for almost two years.
In the meantime, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has made a shortlist of possible opponents of Manny Pacquiao when he returns to the ring April or May nest year.
The names include Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto. Arum said he invited Mayweather to submit his proposal but the undefeated boxer failed to respond.