MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao confirmed that he has been tested twice by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) ahead of his November 24 showdown against American Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.
“I was tested twice, so there is no problem,” Pacquiao said in a conference call last weekend.
The confirmation comes as Pacquiao’s former strength and conditioning trainer, Alex Ariza, wondered when the Filipino would be tested by the anti-doping body.
Ariza is now working with Rios and was around when VADA tested the former lightweight champion.
Speaking to Fight Hype, Ariza said the VADA agents who tested Rios told them that they have not yet conducted tests on Pacquiao.
“That just kicked off a firestorm of questions, not even from us, but everybody else. Of course, Brandon is like, ‘What? Why hasn’t he been tested?’ Then (trainer) Robert (Garcia) started asking questions why Manny hasn’t been tested, and they just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘I don’t know,’” Ariza related.
Ariza added that the VADA agents said they will test Pacquiao once the Filipino boxer gets to China. He also stressed that he is not suspecting Pacquiao of anything, but finds it “odd” that Rios was tested but Pacquiao was not.
Pacquiao, however, cleared the matter up.
“The testing is fine,” said Pacquiao. “I am happy to do it. Random testing is good for boxing.”
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum backed up Pacquiao.
“They (VADA) sent a collector twice, I think from Germany. I have confidence in their ability to do a good policing job,” said Arum.
“We owe it to the public when we have these major boxing events to do the pre-testing in an effective way, like we did in the (Juan Manuel) Marquez-(Timothy) Bradley fight, so the public is assured that the two fighters competing against each other are absolutely clean,” he added.
Arum and Pacquiao were not always fans of random blood and urine testing. Their early negotiations with the camp of unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. fell apart partly because Pacquiao refused to undergo random drug testing at the time.
He has since agreed to the condition, but negotiations with Mayweather stalled due to other issues, including the split of the boxing revenue.