Thursday, January 07, 2010

No Holds Barred: Travis Tygart of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Mayweather-Pacquiao and Drug Testing

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the issue of drug testing and the apparently cancelled Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight with Travis Tygart, the chief executive officer of USADA, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA, which sees its mission as to "preserve the value and integrity of athletic competition through just initiatives that prevent, deter and detect violations of true sport", was initially approached to provide information about drug testing to the organizers of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. USADA is the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sport in the U.S.

According to numerous news reports, plans to hold this fight March 13 were scrapped when the Pacquiao camp refused to agree to the demands of the Mayweather camp for Olympic-style, random blood testing of both fighters for banned substances.

In a lengthy interview, Travis Tygart explains why only conducting urine testing for banned and dangerous substances is ineffective, why blood testing is needed to test for substances like human growth hormone, and why this is necessary to protect the clean athletes while catching the dope cheats. We discuss the need for random, out-of-competition testing, as well as debunk the various excuses given against blood testing, such as it weakening an athlete, the expense of the test, their safety, etc.

"Our clean athletes are demanding for more testing," he stated in this interview.

Defending the rights of these clean athletes is paramount, which is why all supporters of honest sport should also demand that these state-of-the-art testing procedures be utilized in professional sports worldwide.

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