Mayweather vs McGregor drug testing details
Several days ago, it was announced that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones failed a drug prior to his title-taking win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last month in Anaheim, California.
As a result, many in the fight game are probably wondering what the drug testing policy is for Saturday's superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
Answer: The fighters are being tested by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and will partake in the same number of tests, according to the organization.
When the fight was announced last month, USADA insisted Floyd and Conor would undergo 'robust' testing, confirming it would test the fighters as many times as they chose, and when and where they wanted without advanced noticed.
In fact, USADA policy requires participants to keep USADA abreast of their whereabouts for the above reasons.
Mayweather, who last fought in 2015 against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Bero, was tested 34 times that year per USADA’s website.
Strict drug testing - How did we get here?
Although Floyd Mayweather was not the first boxer to demand advanced performance enhancing drug (PEDs) testing, he's done more than any other fighter to call attention the use of PEDs in combat sports and to make advanced drug testing mainstream.
Circa 2009 or 2010, Floyd stated he wouldn't face an opponent who refused Olympic-style testing as experts, such as anti-doping advocate and nutritionist Victor Conte, had long insisted state commission testing was antiquated and not difficult to trick.
Even those employed by state commissions admitted their techniques weren't ironclad. Since then, it's believed state commission testing has improved a lot but isn't on the same level as the pricier Olympic-style testing carried out by USADA and Voluntary Anti-Doping Association: Vada Testing (VADA).
Holyfield vs Tyson II (1997)
Per fight legend Evander Holyfield's book, 'The Holyfield Way,' Mike Tyson refused to rematch Holyfield in 1997 unless the latter engaged in an advanced form of PEDs testing.
"I wasn't worried about the test, and I knew that a refusal would be taken as evidence of guilt," claims Holyfield in the book.
"On the other hand, Tyson had no probable cause to request such a test and absolutely no right to require one as a condition for the fight going forward."
The rest of the quotation (from the book's author and Evander's own words) can be found on page 85 of Holyfield's book.
The details of the test are not known. All we know is that Team Tyson allegedly requested Holyfield to submit to some form of alternative PEDs testing (in addition to the test administered by Nevada Athletic Commission).
Even if Holyfield's assertions are accurate, Tyson may have not been the first to demand alternative testing for PEDs.
Bowe vs Golota II - 1996
According to the Baltimore Sun, Riddick Bowe requested Andrew Golota to partake in advanced drug testing as a condition for their rematch in 1996.
"I definitely think he was on steroids," said Bowe years later.
"Look at Golota's record prior to fighting me...Mediocre guys were hurting him. When he fought me, he had a lot of energy and my punches didn't bother him," said Bowe years later.
Mayweather vs McGregor
Date: Saturday, August 26
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Location: Las Vegas
Division: Jr Middleweight (154 lb limit)
Golota and Bowe agreed to alternative testing for their rematch and neither man produced positive results. And the second fight, unsurprisingly, bore a close resemblance to their first.
Advanced drug tested performed by USADA and VADA is very expensive so it's not always used. In fact, in boxing drug testing is usually reserved for title and title elimination bouts while advanced testing is often negotiated for lucrative, high-profile fights.