Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has confirmed a report that his organization is paying for eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao and once-beaten junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios to be randomly drug tested by The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for their their bout in Macau on Nov. 23 (Nov. 24 in China).
Top Rank is using VADA for the third time, having employed the organization in March for the unanimous decision by WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley over Ruslan Provodnikov, as well as last month’s unanimous decision by RING, WBA and WBO titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux over Nonito Donaire.
Arum chose VADA over the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
“We’re going to use VADA. To me, we’ve had experience now in two fights with VADA, and they’ve conducted themselves extremely well. The fighters who have participated have nothing but praise for the way that it was handled. I’m going with the organization that I have a track record with rather than an organization that I have never used,” said Arum.
“That’s the point. It’s the fighters who are the ones who are affected, and the reports that I received from the fighters in both of those fights — from the winners and the losers and from everybody — were very complimentary. In other words, the testing is very important, but it has to be done in a way that is compatible with the fighters’ training.”
Arum has been assured by VADA, which was founded by former ringside physician Margaret Goodman, that it will be able to successfully handle the testing procedures.
“We’re going to make arrangements because it’s a little tricky. Most of Manny’s preparation will take place in the Philippines, and then he’ll be in Macau,” said Arum.
“But I’ve been assured by VADA that they will hire people over there who can handle it. I haven’t talked directly to [Margaret Goodman,] but I’ve spoken to people who work for her.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]