Michael Marley of the Examiner has been looking into the recent claims from Top Rank that they'll do random drug testing with Manny Pacquiao to match him against Floyd Mayweather Jr next year, but not with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). USADA has done the random testing for Mayweather's fight with Shane Mosley, and will again handle the testing for Mayweather's fight against Victor Ortiz on September 17.
Arum says that they'd be happy to do it with WADA, which was everyone's first hope when the news came up. It's not that USADA isn't credible, because they very much are, but WADA is basically what USADA hopes to emulate on a domestic scale in the United States.
"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."
Now on the surface there's nothing wrong with this, but a USADA representative followed up and explained their side on the matter, for now:
"We certainly do not have a bias against any athlete. We do not have a bias (favoring) one athlete over another. All athletes are presumed to be clean until such time as they are proven otherwise.
"But, when it comes to drug testing, USADA, which is a signatory to WADA rules, regulations and procedures, is the gold standard for sports in the United States. We completely adhere to all the international standards as promulgated by WADA."
She said that perhaps Arum has a misperception of how WADA operates, explaining "[WADA] does not do any actual testing, they do not have the infrastructure to do that. You take FIFA, the Swimming Federation and others...they are all signatories to WADA. What WADA does is contract out (the testing) to recognized doping control agencies in the different countries."
Would it shock anyone if you found out that Arum doesn't really know that WADA doesn't personally conduct the testing, and that from the sounds of this, if WADA were contracted, they'd almost certainly be handing the testing over to -- you guessed it! -- USADA.
The Pacquiao favoring folks here will say that Pacquiao's team isn't asking for a whole lot. "Just let WADA do the testing!" But if WADA doesn't actually do the testing, and they source it out to the recognized agencies in the countries of the sporting events, you have USADA. They're the recognized leader in the United States. Period. They have no record of showing bias or favoritism. Yes, they have openly supported Mayweather's stated cause of "cleaning up" boxing, and no, I don't think Floyd Mayweather Jr has any real interest in actually doing that -- he's not out there forcing the issue for other fights, for instance. But that doesn't mean they would show bias toward him. If Manny Pacquiao were doing what Mayweather has done with the testing, they would openly champion his cause, too, because it's exposure for the cause they actually do champion.
There will have to be fully random drug testing up until the fight for this fight to happen. They'd have to go outside of the top recognized agency in the United States for drug testing if Pacquiao refuses to use USADA, and then you're asking oil and water to come together and agree on something, which is unlikely.
Bottom line: Don't let any of this talk get your hopes up. For now, focus on what's next: Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz on 9/17, and Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez on 11/12.