MANILA, Philippines – Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez is willing to undergo drug testing in order to prove that he is not using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) ahead of his fourth clash with rival Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
“As far as people thinking (if) I am taking steroids, I would take the test. Let them take my blood. I don’t care – just to shut everybody up,” Marquez said in an interview with USA Today.
Marquez was responding to assertions made by Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who commented that the Mexican's increase in bulk was suspicious.
“He has gotten bigger and gained weight. It throws up a red flag,” Roach told USA Today. “I’ve been accused so many times of my fighters being on steroids. I hate to accuse other people.”
“But it’s part of our life, part of the world we live in,” he added.
Prior to his third fight against Pacquiao in November 2011, Marquez worked with a strength and conditioning trainer for the first time in his career. Angel “Memo” Hernandez was credited with helping Marquez in training camp but his presence also raised suspicions.
Hernandez previously sold PEDs to former Olympians Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.
Marquez defended his trainer, however, saying that it was “disrespectful when people start rumors like this.”
“I’ve never done this type of work before. That’s why my body has changed. I have been working very hard, specifically to get more strength,” he said.
“Angel is a professional and knows how much weight I am putting on. I am getting more speed and getting stronger at the same time,” he added.
Marquez further pointed out that his “fight tests have always been clean.”
Roach said Pacquiao would be willing to take a pre-fight drug test, though their promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, said the Nevada State Athletic Commission will have to sign off before the tests are done.
“It has to be completely thought out. If someone had to come to me with this, I would have gone to the commission. Then it’s controlled and run by the commission. That’s the way to do it,” Arum said.