Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Holds Barred: Dr. Margaret Goodman on Mayweather-Pacquiao Cancellation and Future of Drug Testing

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Dr. Margaret Goodman about the cancellation of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight after the two camps failed to agree on how to conduct the prefight drug testing, and what should be the future of drug testing for the combat sports. Dr. Goodman is a neurologist, the former chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the medical correspondent for No Holds Barred.

Among the many topics we discussed was why the last-minute compromise offered by the Mayweather camp, for an end to blood testing 14 days before the fight, would have been inadequate in preventing dope cheating. We discussed various methods widely used by dope cheats, including the use of EPO, and how many athletes beat even the current random tests. We stressed the need for regulatory and sanctioning bodies in the combat sports to update their antiquated procedures if they are serious about dealing with this issue. We also discussed the use of performance enhancing drugs in other sports such as baseball.

We discussed how the collapse of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is yet another milestone in the collapse of boxing, and how other sports like mixed martial arts are benefiting from it. But we also discussed how the issue of doping in mixed martial arts is not being properly addressed and must be, lest that sport sooner or later suffers a similar fate as boxing. And, of course, we skewered most (but not all) of the combat sports media, which still refuse to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth on these issues.

We closed with some suggestions for those who are honest and serious about cleaning up these sports to work together to intensify the education of the public on these issues, and to influence policy-making regarding drug testing.

Will all these anti-doping efforts eventually succeed? A lot depends on how the public and the fans react, and this discussion helps outline a course of action for those who truly want clean sport.

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