Manny Pacquiao Steroids Controversy: The Story Is, There Is No Story

Steroid accusations are flying at Manny Pacquiao once again today. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Today started out like any other day in boxing news. Some fights were talked about, some pay-per-view number estimates came in, Wladimir Klitschko and Hayden Panettiere broke up, Klitschko and David Haye had a tremendously entertaining appearance on Ringside in the UK.

OK, so it was already a little different.

And then it got to be about 5pm EDT, and all hell broke loose all over the place.

First, Shane Mosley tweeted this, and probably shouldn't have: "Pacquiao ex-sparring partner came out a couple days ago stating that he would inject him w steroids - since Ricky fight look that up"

Mosley backtracked fairly quickly, really (not much change from his performance on Saturday night). Moments later he offered, "These are not my words it comes from a article And his sparring partner but if it is true!!!! Than what do you say please google." He tried to make clear that they were not his words.

Except, of course, they kind of were. His girlfriend, Bella Gonzalez, then tweeted, "Pacquiao isn't pride of phili. He's the Shame.How dare this man claim something that is false. That's not a champion, he's Shameless"

Ishe Smith, seemingly uninvolved in the whole matter, offered a lot of opinions. Compared to most, it's worth noting that at least Ishe stood behind his words, and then went on to have a conversation. Smith offered his honest opinion. That's what it is -- and while you may feel he's out of line, or just gullible, or just buying into the hysteria, at least he was willing to stand up like a man, and let it be known that Ishe Smith was saying this.

That doesn't go for the "sparring partner" who "came forward" with the """"news""""" (that deserves that many quotation marks) that he injected Pacquiao with steroids before his fight with Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009.

The story is there is no story. I'm not going to dignify the "article" with a link. It's out there and you won't have to look too hard to find it. Michael Woods of The Sweet Science already took the whole thing to task and did a great job, but since this isn't going to just go away (more on that in a moment), it's worth someone else saying this, so at least maybe those of you who don't live in some bizarre "Maury"-like fantasy world can get some perspective here.

There is nothing to this. If you buy into this completely ridiculous, completely transparent mess of absolutely nothing, written by someone who won't offer a name, supposedly at the behest of another anonymous party, you are being unbelievably gullible. In fact, I could probably just stop now, since chances are you have no idea WHY you're being gullible, or why this all seems so incredibly fake and useless.

This isn't tabloid material. This is sub-tabloid material. Of course just a few minutes ago, Floyd Mayweather Jr. got wind of it and tweeted about how it's a must-read. Nothing with a misspelling of the word "using" is a must-read.

If you were to ask me my honest opinion of whether or not Manny Pacquiao uses or has used performance-enhancing drugs (and I'm sure this will anger someone, too), my answer is simple: I don't know. The testing system that boxing commissions use is laughable. Anyone who actually does get caught is a fool.

So to answer your question more accurately, I'm as sure that Pacquiao is clean as I am sure that Mayweather is clean, that Mosley is clean, that the Klitschkos or Haye or Ishe Smith or Chris Arreola or the ghost of Jack Johnson are clean.

But right now there's nothing real happening. This is pure propaganda, wherever it truly came from.


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