By Mark Vester
According to a report on ESPN.com, Golden Boy Promotions is willing to back away from having to use the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to handle the random Olympic-style drug tests for Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao on March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight fell apart in the last week when both sides could not agree on the exact testing procedures for the fight. Golden Boy wanted the USADA to handle the random tests. Pacquiao and his side were not willing to agree. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is willing to use another company to handle the tests - as long as the tests are still random and happen within a shorter window of time than 30-days before the fight.
"We are OK to move off USADA," Schaefer said. "What we're saying, and what is important to us, is four things -- that the tests be random, that they include blood and urine and the time frame, meaning when do you stop the tests before the fight but know they will still be effective. Three of them we have agreed on -- random, blood and urine. So now it is a matter of the two sides working out the specifics of the cut off date to assure it will still be effective."
"At 30 days, we might as well not even do it. We want to figure it out (the cutoff window) and I will give my recommendation to Team Mayweather, and they will be on board. USADA is the most recognized one, but if it's another one, like the Nevada commission, we don't really care. I don't care who performs the tests as long as they are performed. That's our position. If this fight doesn't happen it's not because of Team Mayweather."
Pacquiao had previously agreed to take three blood tests - one in the first week of January, one on February 13 [30-days before the fight] and another after the Mayweather fight was over. Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank told ESPN that Top Rank's position of taking three blood tests was out the window. Arum appears to be tired of the back and forth demands for Pacquiao to have additional drug tests. The position by Arum is for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to handle the tests. If Golden Boy makes a petition and the NSAC orders both sides to have additional tests, Arum is willing to agree to whatever type of schedule is set down.
"If they go to the commission and they ask for blood test and the commission says yes, we will do whatever the commission says. The commission says blood testing, we'll do blood testing. We're not going to help it or oppose it. We're not going to give any credence to this nonsense. They want to sign a contract under the rules of the commission, fine. We don't want the fight if it means Manny is going to be pushed around. Let the commission tell us how many days in front they want blood. Let the commission pick a date to stop taking blood," Arum said.
"We trust the commission. Blood testing we think is unnecessary, but fine, we'll do it. But let the commission set the parameters. Let Golden Boy approach the commission and say we want to take blood when he's walking into the ring. Whatever the commission wants to do we will support, but we won't take part in this exercise in nonsense, a procedure which is contrary to how boxing has been conducted in Nevada for 40 years. The burden is not on us to tell the commission what to do."
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