Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pacquiao-Mayweather and Steroids

Floyd Mayweather wants strict Olympic-style steroid testing, including random blood tests, leading up to his potential match with Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao's side claims that their fighter doesn't want to subject himself to a blood test within a month of the fight because it might weaken him. To suggest that a blood test taken a week or two before his bout will impact his performance is ridiculous. Even if that were to be the case, what's the harm in giving blood immediately after the fight?

Pacquiao's stand, in conjunction with his recent rapid rise, raises reasonable suspicions that performance-enhancing drugs have played a role in his amazing ascent. As much as we want to cheer for the underdog and hope that Pacquiao's achievements are legit, we would be foolish to deny these suspicions.

But suspicion isn't guilt. Pacquiao hasn't ever been linked with steroids outside of mere conjecture. So, to this point, he isn't guilty of anything. Thus far, the media and the fans have given him the benefit of the doubt. Only unreasonable actions should taint this benefit. Refusing to take a blood test close to the possible match up with Mayweather, and immediately afterward, is unreasonable. It deserves suspicion. But he's still innocent until proven guilty.

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