FLOYD MAYWEATHER has rejected a proposed agreement from Manny Pacquiao for either fighter to pay a $5m penalty if they test positive for banned substances before their May 2 megafight.
Both have agreed to random blood and urine tests to be undertaken by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who can call on the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to halt the fight if a positive result is found.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, aired his confusion over the rejection to the LA Times.
“I’m a little puzzled and a little dismayed that they wouldn’t agree to something this simple,” he said.
“I have no idea what they’re thinking about. If they truly wanted to clean up the sport, I think it sets a good example to the world that there’s nothing to hide.
“I want to put my money where my mouth is. Over the years, they’ve made accusations against us. They never requested the penalty. Manny was adamant about it.
“We’re not making any accusations, but it’s a reasonable request.”
Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, believes the proposal is a publicity stunt as well as a form of damage control if Pacquiao were to test positive.
“We have no plan on limiting the liability and damages if Manny tested positive,” he told the LA Times.
“They must be worried if they’re bringing this up. Essentially, what they’re trying to do is put a $5 million price tag if Manny tested positive. It’s awfully suspicious to me.
“If you’re supposed to be the manager, you need to read the language in the contract before you let your fighter sign.
“That’s why, in my opinion, Michael Koncz is the biggest idiot in all of boxing. He obviously didn’t read the agreement before he had his client sign the agreement.
“It will cost Manny a lot more than some $5 million if he comes up positive.”
While USADA operates under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s code, which can hand out a four-year competition ban to an athlete, their shortcomings have been highlighted in the past.
In 2012, Erik Morales failed two drug tests before his rematch with Danny Garcia, yet was still allowed by both USADA and the New York State Athletic Commission to fight.
The NSAC have also come under fire recently when UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine before his latest title defence, yet was still allowed to fight.
The results of the test also only came to light three days after his fight, prompting a justified backlash towards the commission.
The incident calls into question the NSAC’s power, or indeed, commitment, to cancelling a contest because of a failed drugs test.
Given the enormity of Mayweather-Pacquiao, the possibility of the NSAC calling the fight off seems unlikely at best.
Drug testing has been a bone of contention between the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps for years, cited as the reason for an earlier fight between the two falling through.
Mayweather has also accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the past, resulting in the Filipino suing Floyd for defamation.
While Mayweather’s rejection of this recent proposal does not jeopardise the fight, it raises questions about his self-professed commitment to ‘cleaning up the sport.’ After all, in 2010, Floyd signed up to year-round random testing under USADA and demanded anyone who fights him must do the same.
Mayweather-Pacquiao has been hailed as the fight that will bring boxing back into the mainstream, but without stringent, transparent and universal drug testing procedures, the sport will always lag behind.