By Michael Marley
We absolutely are motivated to find the truth and do the right thing in every case. Our obligation is to protect clean athletes, nothing less and nothing more. — UNITED STATES ANTI-DOPING AGENCY public statement
Travis Tygart, head of the US Anti-Doping Agency, presents himself as a Dudley Do-Right type, a man on a mission to clean up the rampant illegal drug cheating in big time sports.
To a lesser extent, Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants you to think that he is an athlete who willingly has joined the anti drug abuse crusade.
Both the lawyer and the undefeated boxer right are clearly right that drug cheating is pervasive in sports, especially those which involve massive amounts of money. Only a blind and deaf person would argue otherwise. The Barry Bonds legal drama lingers on, the only question now being will he get a small amount of Club Fed jail time.
In Washington, baseball pitching superstar Roger Clemens is on trial in a case involving his alleged use of steroids. That sleazy Canadian doctor who was supplying various well-known jocks with banned drugs has taken a guilty plea in his case.
Lance Armstrong abandoned his glorious cycling career with the drug posse hot on his heels. Current cycling superstar Albert Contador is beset by similar allegations and continuing probes.
In boxing, BALCO bossman Victor Conte is a steady presence. Formerly the guy aiding and abetting Sugar Shane Mosley to load himself up with banned drugs to enhance his boxing skills, Conte is now a respected conditioning/nutrition adviser to world champions Nonito Donaire Jr. and Andre Ward, among others.
Which brings us around to Saturday night, when I spoke to riverboat gambler and Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum about his sudden statement of the day before.
Arum proclaimed that Team Pacquiao will accept a Mayweather bout with fully random blood testing but only if it is handled by the world governing body, WADA, and not by Tygart’s United States only organization.
“We don’t accept the USADA handling it,” Arum told me. “We do accept the prestigious, well-respected WADA. On those terms, Pacquiao will submit to whatever (blood) testing is required so we can make the big fight.”
Makes sense to me. WADA is the world body and both Mayweather and Pacquiao have multiple world championship histories.
It’s no insult to USADA, really, with American Mayweather fighting Filipino Pacquiao. It’s not something absurd and outlandish such as Arum proposing a drug testing agency from Pacman’s homeland handle the testing.
I’ve no doubt the Nevada commission would permit Mayweather and Pacquiao to make a contract specifying, chapter and verse, what the required testing would be, when it could take place, etc.
Nevada badly wants and sorely needs the revenue such a boxing bonanza brings to Las Vegas' tourist service economy. I see no NSAC impediment especially where Tygart was like a bull in a china shop in his decidedly negative testimony before the state board on June 9, 2010. Tygart didn't ruffle Nevada feathers, he torched them.
If Mayweather really wants to fight Pacman, then he will agree to WADA and Tygart will also support this, if only to advance Tygart’s crusade.