A Quick Look at the Potential Fall-Out from the Revelation that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Used a Banned IV Following His Weigh-In for the Super Fight with Manny Pacquiao
In the build-up to his upcoming September 12, 2015 bout with Andre Berto, much has been made about undefeated, multi-division world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., now 48-0 (26 KOs) being able to tie the legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 pre-retirement record with a victory. If he does, Mayweather has indicated that he too will retire at 49-0. This week, however, a potential impediment to this potential feat arose when it was widely reported that Mayweather was administered an IV consisting of saline and vitamins that was banned by both World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines and the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his weigh-in for his May 2, 2015 super-fight with Manny Pacquiao. While the substances contained in the IV were not banned, their provision intravenously is, since they can act as a masking agent for banned substances.
Even though the United States Anti-Doping Agency — to whom Mayweather and Pacquiao agreed to submit to random drug testing in advance of their bout — granted Mayweather a retroactive therapeutic use exception for the IV, he may still be subject to disciplinary action from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Nevada State Athletic Commission Rule 467.850 provides that the administration of any drug or injection identified in the most current version of the “Prohibited List” published by the World Anti-Doping Agency leaves a licensee of the commission subject to disciplinary action by the Commission. Among the items on the most current “Prohibited List” are “[i]ntravenous infusions or injections of more than 50 mL per 6 hour period except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions or clinical investigations[,]” which apparently covers what Mayweather received following his weigh-in for the Pacquiao fight.
The Commission’s disciplinary options include the power to change the result of a contest won by a boxer found to have violated the provisions of Rule 467.850 to a “no decision.” Accordingly, if disciplinary action is taken against Mayweather after his anticipated victory over Berto, his record would not be 49-0, but rather 48-0-0-1, with the “1” being a “no decision” for the Pacquiao fight, which he won by a 12-round unanimous decision. While such an outcome may prove overall meaningless to Mayweather’s legacy, it would mean that Marciano’s claim to being the only world champion to retire with a 49-0 record would remain intact for the foreseeable future.