The November 12 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez has its first piece of media controversy. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
You may have already seen this reported elsewhere, but let's talk about it here, too. Yesterday on Twitter, former BALCO chief Victor Conte said that Juan Manuel Marquez is working with a steroid dealer and former "rat" named Angel "Memo" Heredia:
JM Marquez is working w/ admitted steroid dealer Angel "Memo" Heredia (Hernandez on 24/7). Heredia testfied he supplied PEDs to Marion Jones
He later noted that Heredia was a "star witness" for the government:
Angel Heredia was the star witness for Novitzky and the government against many athletes. He got no time in return..
A New York Times article from 2008 sheds a bit more light on the subject:
Angel Guillermo Heredia is identified as Source A in the felony indictment. He agreed to be a cooperating witness three years ago when, according to court filings, investigators confronted him with evidence of his drug trafficking and money laundering. Since then, Mr. Heredia said, he has provided prosecutors with documentation and with the names of many elite track athletes and Olympic medal winners.
And so the plot thickens a little bit for Pacquiao vs Marquez. I don't think you have to "trust" or "believe in" Victor Conte to see that Marquez working with Heredia doesn't look good, and particularly because Heredia is trying to hide his identity to some degree.
But at the same time, if Conte wants forgiveness, can Heredia not have the same? I understand what he's saying, that the two men are not the same (" I refused to testify, accepted the full consequences of my mistakes and did the time that I deserved," Conte said) but to most of us, they're at least on the same boat.
How seriously do you take Marquez's association with Heredia? Is this something that concerns you in regards to fair play, and the hope or belief that top fighters aren't cheating the system?
As for Conte, today he shifted his attention to Alex Ariza, Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach. The two have traded words in the media in the past, and worked "against" one another in July when Amir Khan (Ariza) fought Zab Judah (Conte):
(1) Alex Ariza seems intoxicated by his minor celebrity. He hasn't "beat" anybody in boxing. Fighters & head trainers win or lose fights (2) If Ariza can "beat" Angel Memo Heredia, then Memo may introduce Ariza to his friend Jeff Novitzky. Wonder if Ariza could handle Novitzky?
As much as many share the sentiment that Ariza has become, in some ways, a bit of a media nuisance, I can't help but note the hilarity of Conte, who is talking more and more and more and more every month, it seems, slamming anyone for being "intoxicated by his minor celebrity."