MANILA, Philippines – While not accusing Juan Manuel Marquez of using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Chael Sonnen noted that the Mexican seemed to have gone through a “second puberty” prior to his fight against Manny Pacquiao.
In an interview with Jim Rome on Showtime, Sonnen discussed Marquez’s fourth fight with Pacquiao, which ended with the Mexican knockout out the “Pacman” with one second to go in the sixth round.
“Pacquiao got hit by a guy who miraculously went through puberty a second time at 39 years old,” Sonnen said, as quoted by Bloody Elbow.
“He (Pacquiao) got hit by a guy that showed up with more power at 39 than he had in any of the previous fights. He had a six-pack that he never had before,” Sonnen added.
Sonnen said that aside from the urine tests that fighters take, there was also the “visual test.”
“When you take your robe off and you get in the ring, that’s your first test. And to act as if all of us didn’t go, ‘Something’s going on there...’” he said.
Sonnen did not accuse Marquez of using PEDs outright, although he admits that he came close.
“I know (Pacquiao’s trainer) Freddie Roach did. I know Freddie Roach said, ‘If that body’s clean, I kiss your a**.’ But you gotta understand, all substances aren’t illegal. Did he take something? Sure, he did,” Sonne said.
“Did he take something illegal? Well, according to the test, no. I just know you don’t go through puberty twice, and I’ll leave it at that,” he added.
Marquez was under suspicion of using PED because of his strength and conditioning coach, Angel “Memo” Heredia, who has admitted to giving track athletes illegal substances in the past. Both Marquez and Pacquiao passed all the pre- and post-fight drug tests that they took, however.