Floyd Mayweather under fire over intravenous drip before Manny Pacquiao fight

A report has revealed that Floyd Mayweather was put on an intravenous drip the day before his mega-fight earlier this year – and only got clearance for having done so several weeks after the fight.

SB Nation’s Thomas Hauser makes the claim as part of a lengthy investigation into drug testing in boxing, explaining that the drip administered contained vitamins and saline solution.

The substances in the drip were not banned, only the method of giving them since the amount given exceeded the stated rules which allow only 50ml per six-hour period. Mayweather allegedly received 750ml of fluid.

As Hauser explains: “This prohibition is in effect at all times that the athlete is subject to testing. It exists because, in addition to being administered for the purpose of adding specific substances to a person’s body, an IV infusion can dilute or mask the presence of another substance that is already in the recipient’s system or might be added to it in the near future.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. exchange punches with Manny Pacquiao during their welterweight unification championship bout, May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINKSI


The 2015 WADA prohibited substances and methods list explains that exceptions can be made “for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations.”

US Anti-Doping agents who went to Mayweather’s home found evidence of the drip having been given to the boxer, and were told that it was “administered to address concerns related to dehydration”.

Simply put, Mayweather – a staunch advocate of anti-doping measures – should not have been permitted to receive the IV drip which he was hooked up to the day before the bout against Pacquiao.

Hauser claims that the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was not even applied for until May 19, 17 days after the fight, and was granted by the USADA a day later. They did not notify the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), who claim to have sole authority over issuing TUEs, until a few days later.

NSAC’s executive director Bob Bennett, a former FBI employee, told Hauser: “The TUE for Mayweather’s IV – and the IV was administered at Floyd’s house, not in a medical facility, and wasn’t brought to our attention at the time – was totally unacceptable.”

Undefeated WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines pose with the WBC championship belt during a final news conference at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada Ap


The article also goes on to quote Victor Conte, the founder and president of BALCO, which was at the heart of several major doping scandals – including the one which saw Marion Jones stripped of 100m Olympic gold.

Conte, now an anti-doping advocate after spending time in prison, was fiercely critical of the exemption being granted.

“I don’t get it,” Conte says. “There are strict criteria for the granting of a TUE. You don’t hand them out like Halloween candy.

“And this sort of IV use is clearly against the rules. Also, from a medical point of view, if they’re administering what they said they did, it doesn’t make sense to me.

“There are more effective ways to rehydrate. If you drank ice-cold Celtic seawater, you’d have far greater benefits. It’s very suspicious to me.

“I can tell you that IV drugs clear an athlete’s system more quickly than drugs that are administered by subcutaneous injection.

“So why did USADA make this decision? Why did they grant something that’s prohibited? In my view, that’s something federal law enforcement officials should be asking.”