Text by Edward Chaykovsky, Interview by Chris Robinson
If the ball was in his court, trainer Robert Garcia would do everything possible to prevent his fighters from taking part in a drug testing protocol being regulated by VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association]. Garcia says he feels much more comfortable with having USADA [United States Anti-Doping Agency] handle the testing.
Garcia says his trust with VADA was broken, when the organization handled the drug testing for Brandon Rios' fight with Manny Pacquiao last November. Rios tested positive for a banned substance, with trace amounts of Dimenthylamylamine (DMAA) found. The substance is used to assist with weight loss and performance.
Garcia was not happy with the way VADA handled the testing procedures, and says he was very pleased with the way USADA handled things with the testing for Marcos Maidana's December fight with Adrian Broner.
There is also a rivalry between Garcia's strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, and supplement/dietary guru Victor Conte, who is closely associated with VADA.
"If we're fighting somebody that calls the shots like a Pacquiao [we'll use VADA]. We already did with Brandon. That was the first time that [Pacquiao] demanded drug testing. Before, he never wanted to do it on his own. He never wanted to do it. I'm not making it up. Everybody knows that he always said that he was scared of needles, he never wanted to do it. So now Pacquiao demands VADA, so okay we did it. If we're fighting the guy who calls the shots, we're forced to do it. If Maidana is fighting Mayweather and he wants VADA, then we have to do it because we're fighting the guy who calls the shots," Garcia said.
"But not too far from now, I think that I could be in that position where my fighters call the shots. We'd rather go with USADA. They were here with Maidana [for the Broner fight] and they were so professional, they were so different."
"With VADA, Brandon goes and pees in the bathroom and then takes everything to a table next to the ring [in the gym]. They were doing everything right there, packing everything up, doing blood with Brandon right there. They were taking blood right there next to the ring. In the meantime there are guys sparring, there are guys sweating, there are guys punching, there are guys bleeding. How do you know what could fly into [the area] where Brandon is doing [the tests]?"
"Those are little things, that now I see they did them very wrong. USADA came and it was totally different, totally the opposite with Maidana. Then we go to China and we ask them how many times have they done Manny Pacquiao and they said 'not a single time, maybe here in China we'll test him].' I don't know if they even know. Maybe they tested him. Maybe it was true [they didn't], maybe they did know. I don't know. But they did say that, they did tell us that...'maybe in China.'"
"Those are questions, should we trust VADA? My team sure don't. Maybe because Alex is with us now [VADA treated us like that]. Maybe because they are against Alex...they hate Alex is why they had those differences with us. Then the guy [from VADA] is chasing us around in China and he is not ready. He doesn't have the container for the pee and Brandon tells him 'I got to pee.' [The guy from VADA] takes a f***ing glass cup from the bathroom and tells him to pee here."
"Then [the guy from VADA] tells my son [and another Rios camp member] to go talk to the other guys from VADA in the arena, so they could bring back the container. How do they know or they even trust my son [and other Rios camp member] to give them the container and bring it up to Brandon's room. So when they bring it up, he just takes that pee in the cup and pours it in [the container]? How the f*** do we know what was in that cup [from the bathroom]? I'm telling you, there is that video on hotels...they f***ing spray with Windex and just dry it off with a dry towel and just put it back in there."