The United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA], having already strongly refuted a report suggesting it mishandled Floyd Mayweather’s drug testing ahead of his May fight against Manny Pacquaio, took the extraordinary measure of releasing a 25-page, step-by-step rebuttal on Thursday.
In the preface to its paragraph-by-paragraph, 60-point “response” to writer Thomas Hauser’s story published on SB Nation – under the headline “Can Boxing Trust USADA?” – the anti-doping agency wrote: “This article is riddled with factual errors, unfounded speculation and disturbingly inaccurate accusations.
“In order to set the record straight USADA is publishing this correction, which is a side by side comparison of the claims in Mr. Hauser”s article to the truth.”
USADA’s key assertions, all of which it says correct or clarify points in the SB Nation story, are as follows:
– Its doping control officer came to Mayweather’s home on May 1 to collect a urine sample, but Mayweather was dehydrated and unable to produce one. A paramedic was summoned to Mayweather”s home and provided the IV of saline and vitamins, with the USADA official in Mayweather’s presence until the boxer was able to provide a urine sample.
– Mayweather applied for a retroactive therapeutic-use exemption and it was granted after the fight, which isn’t unusual or even required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
– Any effort to discredit USADA – via reporting on its fee structures, its handling of other fighters (in particular Erik Morales, who was banned for a failed drug test) or its not-for-profit status under U.S. tax guidelines – can be disproved by various filings and reports, to which USADA links in its rebuttal.
– When the report says USADA has deliberately misled governing organizations, it responds, in part, by saying, “This is a serious allegation, provided without any substantiation and is false.”
– Finally, USADA closes its last point, writing, “USADA has always supported full and open transparency in its operations, respecting the privacy rules, and the use of all information for legitimate anti-doping purposes only.”
Claiming that it was “viciously and unjustifiably maligned,” USADA focused its response around not only an IV that Mayweather received the day before his victory over Pacquiao but also the organization’s handling of drug testing beyond its contract with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Its rebuttal is so granular as to correct certain dates in the report, while also putting time stamps on an interview that SB Nation’s report excerpted and the role USADA played in other doping issues.