I don't think there's any way getting around it. It's getting bloodier by the minute.
Last month, reports linked the sinister Dr. Anthony Galea --his creepy-sounding blood-spinning methods and alleged HGH trafficking -- to Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and huge names outside of baseball. Jose Reyes, also sullied by the Galea affair, analyzed his blood confirming a mild case of hyperthyroidism. Major League Baseball initiated a whisper campaign that they might adopt some kind of blood testing to catch any more sneaky HGH users. For sure, they say, all will see the needle and the damage done in the minor leagues right away.
Of course, the players unions, the MLBPA, NFLPA -- those bastions of fairness for all members -- will object to blood testing on the grounds that it's intrusive, unreliable, and unfair to members who are scared of needles...
Sigh. What's a non-HGH-taking professional athlete to do?
Enter Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is insisting that anyone he fights submits, as he will, to Olympic-style random blood and urine testing right up until they walk into the ring. Both he and Shane Mosley, for their May 1st fight in Las Vegas, will be the first boxers ever to agree to such scrutiny. Mayweather hopes all of boxing and all professional sports follows his lead.
For better or for worse there are no unions in boxing. This time it's for the better. You want to fight the champ for big money? Be clean. Manny Pacquiao refused Mayweather's request for blood testing and turned down one of the most lucrative and anticipated bouts in recent boxing history. You've got to wonder why? "Obviously he has something to hide," Mayweather told me. I think it really is that obvious.
What's fascinating to observe here is that we have a sport in boxing where athletes can call out opposing athletes and ensure that both competitors are clean; or else no work and no paycheck. Wouldn't you like to see that in other sports? Why not, in baseball, allow each team to identify five opposing players who must undergo random blood testing before each series? Why not before each NFL Sunday have opposing coaches submit a list of 5 offensive and 5 defensive players whose blood they'd like to see? Individual sports: Phil Mickelson can mercilessly needle Tiger Woods. Wimbledon, finally, would be bloody well PED-free!
You can think what you may about Floyd Mayweather but his stance on blood-testing is intellectually consistent with the purity of his fighting style. Mayweather is a technical boxing genius. He has studied the sweet science since barely old enough to drag his duffle to a Detroit gym. His advantage in the ring comes from knowledge, practice and execution. He takes no shortcuts.
Like Mayweather. Dislike Mayweather. But disagree with his basic stance on blood testing in sports? Obviously you have something to hide.