Texas: No 'good cause' for drug-testing Pacquiao, Clottey
The well-chronicled argument between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. over drug testing was so heated and divisive it caused two money-loving athletes to walk away from a guarantee of $25 million each.
Mayweather's camp implied there was something not so natural about Pacquiao's steady move up in weight in recent years, with increased dominance in the ring, and Pacquiao grew so defensive about the jabs that he sued members of the Mayweather camp for defamation.
Now, less than two weeks before Pacquiao fights Joshua Clottey in the replacement fight March 13 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has judged that there is no "good cause" to institute any pre-fight drug screening for either fighter before their welterweight main event.
Mayweather and Pacquiao's public fireworks over the issue, in which a federal arbitrator was summoned to mediate the argument, have already been considered by the Texas executive director, William Kuntz, said licensing and regulation spokeswoman Susan Stanford.
Stanford added Kuntz can still change his mind "at any time," ordering drug screening procedures that the fighters would need to pay for.
Nevertheless, the absence of testing seems stunning when it's considered that Mayweather's May 1 fight against Pomona's Shane Mosley in Las Vegas is subject to Olympic-style drug testing that is being negotiated to be supervised by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Not only is USADA set to supervise random testing, including blood screening for human growth hormone that last week nabbed a British rugby player, Mayweather will have the option to request additional tests as long as he gives a sample of his own at or near the same time, said his advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, and promoter, Richard Schaefer, said.
Mosley has admitted that in the days before his 2003 mega-fight against Oscar De La Hoya, he used performance-enhancing drugs given him by BALCO founder Victor Conte. Mosley has insisted he thought the substances he took from Conte were legal vitamins.
The disparity in how the Pacquiao and Mayweather fights are being scrutinized (or not) is an unfortunate fact of life in boxing, says the president of the Assn. of Boxing Commissions, the national body that advises state commissions.
"Testing [is] an excellent idea, but the cost of [it is] somewhat cost-prohibitive," Timothy Lueckenhoff said. "If steroid testing is to be done as well as testing for illegal [street] drugs, it must be done across the board. When we talk about requiring all fights to be subject to this, we are just adding more cost to a struggling profession, especially regarding club show events.
"All drug testing is good and needed, but the cost is a huge factor right now."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Manny Pacquiao, left, and Joshua Clottey. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press