“It became a game (on or about Dec. 24). It became a game with kids drawing lines in the sand. It wasn’t anything special with Mayweather demanding 14 days. It was all about Mayweather bullying in my book.” –PROMOTER BOB ARUM
Coach Freddie Roach and Arum are clearly on different pages if not wavelengths as to what caused the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao negotiations to explode.
(Click here to see Manny Pacquiao himself comment on why the Mayweather fight didn’t get done.)
With my own ears, I heard Pacman’s talented telling one and all at Wednesday’s New York presser for the March 13 in Dallas Clottey-Pacquiao bout that their side agreed to a final preflight blood test exactly 14 days before the mega bout.
That is not accurate. Don’t forget it was Arum, not Roach, who was the quarterback calling the signals on the Pacman side of the ball.
Chalk this up to a failure to communicate as Arum has said multiple times that Megamanny himself stomped his feet and said, “Nyet, no way and I don’t think so” to a preflight blood exam 14 days prior.
Unless suddenly Team Pacquiao wants to rewrite history, there was a 10 day gap no one could drive a truck through, Floyd’s posse demanding 14 days and Manny’s crew agreeing only to a 24 day window plus a postfight locker room blood test.
Arum neatly characterized the childish, unbending postures of the camps Wednesday, comparing them to kids in a playground drawing a line in the sand.
You may be sick and tired of being sick and tired, as I am, of reading about the drug testing back and forth but Roach’s obviously mistaken remarks did give me pause to ask this stinging question, what was/is so magical about the 14 day preflight blood test?
Who in the Mayweather camp came up with that and for what scientific/medical reason?
USADA head Travis Tygart (AP Photo)
Arum told me there was no discernible reason for the 14 day demand other than what he calls “bullying” tactics by Money May and his advisers.
Then I stumbled onto David Mayo’s enlightening grilling of USADA chief Travis Tygart and he, at least in this aspect of the controversy, completely agrees with Arum.
Tygart says that, to be able to nail cheaters, the blood AND urine exams must be totally random, that the fighters should not have any advance notice of any preflight test whether blood drawn by a needle extraction or by a urine sample.
Let me note here that, while Mayo is a hometown reporter who has covered Mayweather since his amateur days, he did his job, asking keen questions and duly recording Tygart’s answers to same.
No doubt that Tygart, as a recognized expert, has more knowledge and credibility than the Mayweather and Pacquiao teams combined.
(Click here to see video footage of the NYC Pacquiao-Clottey press conference.)
Here’s some of Mayo (MLive.com, Grand Rapids Press) Q & A which sheds more light on the situation that almost everything I’ve read or heard heretofore:
Q: One other thing I wanted to touch base with you on — when the Mayweather-Pacquiao discussions finally fell apart at the beginning of the month, it came down to a 10-day differential; Mayweather bent to ‘I’ll agree to 14 days prior to the event when there will be no blood testing,’ and Pacquiao wouldn’t go later than 24 days. Even if Mayweather had yielded to 24 days, what can an athlete do in 24 days? I mean, if you’re clean 24 days before the fight, what can you do in the next 24 days that would have any impact on the fight whatsoever?
A: “The human growth hormone for sure, levels of testosterone, and other designer steroids. Sounds like you’ve got some information — I’m not agreeing factually that was the difference, and I’m not disagreeing. But if that’s the case, the other piece is that, prior to that 14-day or 24-day blackout period, what system was in place? Were you just using the Nevada, or the state of California, system? If that’s the case, I’m not worried about the 14-day or the 24-day blackout period, I’m worried about the rest of it. If someone’s telling you that’s where it fell apart, I think you’ve got to add the follow-up, ‘Well, what kind of testing was going to happen before the 14-day or the 24-day blackout period?’ The 14-day period, I’m a lot less concerned about that than what you’re doing in the two months before that 14-day period.”
Q: If I had 72 hours, could I mask EPO?
Q: If I knew it was coming, I could mask it?
A: “Yeah. Same with steroids.”
Q: How quickly could I mask it? What’s the shortest time frame, if I knew it was coming, that I could mask it?
A: “I mean, we do no notice. We literally show up, and knock on a door, and we find them.”
Q: My question is, if I knew 20 hours before the test, would I have time to mask it? Six hours? One hour? What would it be?
A: “Yep, all that.”
Q: If I knew 10 minutes before test, could I mask it?
A: “Yep. If you had some urine and a Whizzinator, 10 minutes before, you could mask it. If you had a catheter, which is not that tough to do, you could do it.”
Q: What about blood testing? Could I mask it then?
A: “For transfusions, the 14 days is not going to give you much concern. The evidence of the transfusion will stay in your system longer than the 14 days. But the human growth hormone, for sure not.”
So what conclusion do we reasonably draw from Tygart’s interview?
What I draw is that, unless there is absolutely random blood and urine testing of both Mayweather and Pacquiao or Mayweather and Shane Mosley or the next fight pitting Jones against Smith, there is no credible assurance that either or both fighters are not cheating.
So I guess, while a compromise in between 14 and 24 days might have worked, it would not dampen the suspicions of an expert like Tygart.
And the other conclusion is that were was zero science, an absence of medical evidence underlining or justifying the 14 day Mayweather demand.
That’s not a bold stnadard or a hold standard. That’s just basic, my way or the highway tactics.
You don’t have to be a walking Whizzinator to understand that much.
That phony baloney demand was Bullying 101.
I don’t blame Pacman for walking.
Manny left Mayweather scratching in the sandbox.
Manny got tired of child’s play so I don’t blame him for pulling the plug.