A day after the SB Nation report surfaced, Mayweather and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) both disputed that the undefeated champion violated any rules, saying he was granted an exemption.
"As already confirmed by the USADA statement, I did not commit any violations of the Nevada or USADA drug testing guidelines," Mayweather said in a statement to the media, including ESPN, on Thursday. "I follow and have always followed the rules of Nevada and USADA, the gold standard of drug testing."
Mayweather, who is less than two days away from his Saturday night bout against Andre Berto, added: "Let's not forget that I was the one six years ago who insisted on elevating the level of drug testing for all my fights. As a result, there is more drug testing and awareness of its importance in the sport of boxing today than ever before. I am very proud to be a clean athlete and will continue to champion the cause."
Mayweather is referring to 2009, when he publicly accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs. Pacman later sued Mayweather and the two settled on an undisclosed seven figures.
Although the substances in the IV are not illegal under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines, their method of being given intravenously is against the rules. Furthermore, although Mayweather was granted an exemption by USADA three weeks after the May 2 fight, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett told SB Nation that USADA can't grant an exemption, indicating that only the Athletic Commission can do so.
Still, USADA is standing by its decision.
"Although Mr. Mayweather's application was not approved until after his fight with Mr. Pacquiao and all tests results were reported, Mr. Mayweather did disclose the infusion to USADA in advance of the IV being administered to him," USADA said in its media statement earlier Thursday. "Furthermore, once the TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) was granted, the NSAC and Mr. Pacquiao were immediately notified even though the practice is not prohibited under NSAC rules."
Mayweather claims he received the IV for rehydration purposes following the weigh-in, the day before the fight.
Pacquiao's camp isn't pleased with the news
"I find it ironic. We tried to get an injection that was totally legal before the fight and the commission slams us and then this thing with Mayweather happens," Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, told ESPN. "We need to fight in Vegas again so I don't want to make many more comments but it is unusual and it was never disclosed to us until quite a ways after the fight. Maybe the best thing for Floyd to do is have a rematch with Manny. But we were shocked by [the TUE]. It shouldn't have happened."
Mayweather, 38, has insisted that this Saturday night's bout against Berto will be the 49th and final fight of his career.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)