Nevada orders immediate testing for Pacquiao, Mayweather
The chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission has ordered Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to take immediate out-of-competition urine tests, even as the sides bicker heatedly over a drug-testing policy that threatens to scrap their scheduled March 13 mega-fight in Las Vegas.
Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Pat Lundvall ordered Executive Director Keith Kizer to point Mayweather and Pacquiao to accredited drug-testing labs in the United States and Philippines, respectively, for tests that must be completed by Wednesday, Kizer told The Times.
The tests will be paid for by Nevada and are consistent with World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, Kizer said.
"It's a start," Kizer said. "Whether it's the end, I don't know."
Kizer was referring to the ongoing argument that the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps are engaged in over how to conduct drug tests. Pacquiao's camp wants to submit two blood tests, one in January, another 30 days before the fight, and another after the bout. Mayweather's camp, after consulting with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency about its protocol, argues that the fighters should be subjected to possible random blood testing until the first bell.
On Tuesday, Mayweather's camp issued a prepared statement saying they've already made major concessions on deal points, including the weight limit and gloves, and were hopeful Pacquiao would agree "that many different substances and procedures can only be detected by blood testing." Team Mayweather contends that Pacquiao had blood drawn just 14 days before his May fight against Ricky Hatton.
Mayweather's statement also noted Pacquiao won't agree to mediation on the subject by someone as respected as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):
"Team Mayweather ... is still open to the earlier discussions of having both parties work out a mutually agreeable understanding of the testing, which would be conducted by a mutually-agreed-upon agency."
"... As Floyd has already stated, he does not have a problem with the random procedure and will be under the same requirements as Pacquiao. It is simply hard for him to understand why there is reluctance on Pacquiao's part to agree to do the same."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: The promoters for Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao are still trying to finalize the details for a March 13 bout. Credit: Getty Images