LAS VEGAS, United States – In preparation for his super fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao underwent about 12 random drug tests over the course of his 3-month training camp.
On Thursday, April 29, Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, told media at a press conference that his fighter had to undergo blood tests about a dozen times.
“We’ve been tested in our gym over 12 times in this training camp. I hope it’s even. I don’t know about his training camp but I know we’ve been tested by blood test over 12 times,” he said.
Because of the many times Pacquiao was tested, Roach said he believes Pacquiao overcame his fear of needles. He added it would not affect Pacquaio in case he was tested again between now and fight night on May 2, which is two days away.
Mayweather’s father and trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr was also asked how many times his boxer had to undergo random drug testing. The older Mayweather, however, could not answer, saying he did not know.
The fight, which took over 5 years to finalize, have fallen through in the past for various reasons. In 2010, Pacquiao refused to give in to Mayweather’s demands for random drug testing. Pacquiao has also said before that he does not believe in getting blood drawn out 3 days before fight night, saying it makes him feel weak.
Back then, Mayweather accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs which Pacquiao denied. The Filipino boxer then sued Mayweather and the two settled out of court.
This time around, both fighters agreed to United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing rules, which requires both to make themselves available for random urine and blood tests and provide USADA with an itinerary of their travels.
The rules state that the fighters agree to the rigorous rules established under the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). A positive test would result in a 4-year ban from competition for the offending, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Such a ban would effectively end the careers of the 38-year-old Mayweather and the 36-year-old Pacquiao.
USADA will also perform drug testing after the fight and the samples would be examined for human growth hormone (HGH), erythropoietin (EPO), and utilizing carbon isotope ratio (CIR).
Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) first began using USADA testing rules before his 2010 fight with Shane Mosley after the first fallout of negotiations with Pacquiao. Mosley had previously admitted to a grand jury that he had used EPO prior to his rematch with Oscar de la Hoya.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) of General Santos City, Philippines, had used random testing prior to his bouts with Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri, both of which took place in Macau. – with reports form Ryan Songalia/Rappler.com
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