Late last week it was revealed that Manny Pacquiao had requested random blood and urine testing for his upcoming bout on November 23 with Brandon Rios in Macau. On Friday, it was confirmed that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) would be the organization entrusted with the task of testing both fighters.
To those who have followed Pacquiao's career for the last several years, the decision to actually request PEDs testing has to be more than a bit jarring, especially after his own tumultuous relationship with the concept.
For those who recall, a proposed mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather was all but signed, sealed, and delivered when a dispute over random blood testing forever killed the deal.
At the time, the Filipino icon balked at undergoing any PEDs testing above and beyond the minimum commission requirements, claiming that the drawing of blood would weaken him prior to the fight. The reluctance to budge on random testing eventually took both fighters to arbitration where the bout was officially killed off in January of 2010 when neither side would give in regarding a cut-off date for drawing blood prior to fight night.
Following the well-publicized collapse of this era's biggest money fight, Mayweather was painted as the unreasonable party, insisting on random blood testing for no other reason than the fact that unsubstantiated rumors of PEDs use and overwhelming Pacquiao performances caused him to be suspicious.
Fast forward to 2013 and the script has been flipped completely.
Fighters who demand and undergo random blood testing are not vilified, but given their just due. Members of the media who lambasted Mayweather for his demands just a couple of years ago are now commending other fighters who make similar demands. For those looking to explain the complete 180 on the issue, evolution of thought could be credited for the change. However, for those with a slightly cynical orientation, the word "hypocrisy" could also be applied.