The 53rd Round
Doug Morris, an attorney for Greg Page, sat while deposing Dr. Manuel Mediodia and quickly came to the conclusion that Mediodia, in the process of justifying his involvement in a professional fight card that he was not licensed to preside over, in a state in which he was not licensed to practice, was relying on his alleged certification by USA Boxing, a group that runs amateur boxing both nationally and through “local boxing committees”, but has no jurisdiction whatsoever with any state agencies or boxing commissions, and certainly not in Kentucky.
Nonetheless, Morris decided to turn Mediodia's repeated references to the USA Boxing rule book against him.
He brought up Section 101.7 of the rules:
“Q – So in 2001, there were no restrictions on your ability to administer medications or to prescribe medications?
A – Yes, sir.
Q – Number two, under this same section 107.1, says: EMT's or paramedics and ambulance are required to be available at the competition site for all sessions of USA boxing championship events, group member national championship events, group member national championship events, international competitions, and any other major events the corporation designates. Are you familiar with that, sir?
A – Yes, sir.
Q – Did you consider that requirement of the USA Boxing rules would apply to the event involving Greg Page and Dale Crowe?
A – Yes, sir.
Q – And as I take it, you now know that there were no EMT's or paramedics or ambulance at the competition site; correct, sir?
A – Yes, sir.
Q – And I take it that – well, let me ask you: Did you take any steps to determine whether an ambulance was available before the fights began on March 9, 2001?
A – I spoke to someone about medical facilities, but actually, it was mainly a question as to how far are the emergency services over here from downtown Erlanger, and they said, not too far. It's only a few minutes. That's all I – the extent of my conversation.
Q – And who did you speak to about that?
A – It was a lady, I believe, who was with her husband, and I assumed she was from Erlanger.
Q – Was she a spectator?
A – Yes, sir.”
To this day, Mediodia does not know where EMT (Emergency Medical technician) service was located in relation to Peel's Palace, and acknowledged that he never endeavored – beyond this inquiry with a SPECTATOR – to find out.
According to Mediodia's testimony, he had never met Jack Kerns, the chairman of the Kentucky Athletic Commission, before that evening. In fact, in his previous interrogatories, he referred to him as “Richard Kearns”. Mediodia says he sat
down next to Kerns at ringside for the fight and never left his side.
“Q – Did you ever leave the ringside?
A – Not at anytime.”
Of course, the occasion came as the show drew to a close. This is Mediodia's recollection, under oath, with regard to how the fight ended for Page (please read this very carefully):
“Q – And tell me what you recall in terms of when he went down. What occurred after he – well, what occurred when he went down? Did you see him go down?
A – First of all, he didn't go down right away. He hung on the ropes. He was suspended on the ropes for quite a few minutes. And erroneously the newspaper said that he was knocked down. He was never knocked down. He was hanging on the ropes. And in fact, I was thinking this guy is so proud that he wouldn't go down. He was already counted out. He was knocked against the ropes and the fight was already over, but he still hang up there, and he was so proud, so – and nobody seemed to know what was going on.
I examined him as soon as he was laid down on the mat, and that was a routine examination. I usually examine the boxers after a fight and – but when he was down on the mat, of course, that's when I came over on my own volition to see him – to check him out.”
When Morris heard this curious testimony, he decided to probe further:
“Q – All right. Well, you've told me several things, and I want to stop and go through those kind of one point at a time. All right, sir? You said that he wasn't knocked down, that he went up against the ropes.
A – He was never knocked down on the mat. He was knocked or pushed back against the ropes, and hang there for about – quite a few minutes.
Q – You say he hung on the ropes. Was he standing up hanging on the ropes?
A – He was standing up. He was standing up.
Q – For quite a few minutes?
A – Right.
Q – Like two, three, four, five?
A – Two, three, four, five, right.
Q – Well, is it close to two minutes to close to five minutes?
A – Close to five.
Q – That he was standing up hanging onto the ropes?
A – Right.”
Not that it would enlighten Dr. Mediodia any, but Page was indeed in a position with his neck hanging onto the ropes. In the state of Kentucky (201 KAR 27:013),
contestant shall be considered 'down' when: (1) any part of his body, other than his feet, is on the ring floor, or (2) he is hanging helplessly over the ropes and in the judgment of the referee, he is unable to stand, or (3) He is rising from the 'down' position.”
Mediodia claims he went up to the ring immediately when Page was laid down on the ring mat, which, by his own testimony, was several minutes after what was, in point of fact, the knockout – “I did the heart and lungs on him, which were good. His breathing was unhurried, and there was no irregularity of the heart. His lungs were filled up on both sides. There was no problem at all with his breathing and his heart rate.”
Incredibly, after that exam, which was cursory at best, Mediodia left the ring and SAT DOWN:
“Q – And that is the only examination you performed of him after the fight?
A – I went back – I went back – when I went back the second time he didn't rise. I went back and examined him again.
Q – All right. Well, let's talk about what happened in between. So after this first examination, which you've told us lasted six or seven minutes, then you left his side?
A – I sat down.
Q – You went back over and sat down in the seat where you had sat during the fight?
A – Right.
Q – Was Jack Kerns still there?
A – Yes.
Q – Were there any other commissioners that were still there?
A – I believe everyone was still seated.
Q – And did you have a conversation with anyone?
A – No. No.
Q – No one said, how's Greg, or what did you think, or anything like that?
A – No, not at that time.
Q – So how long did you stay seated before you examined Greg the second time?
A – I would say another three or four minutes until I found out that he didn't rise. I was expecting him to get up and be held up by his promoters.
Q – All right. So you sat down for three to four minutes, and Greg was still on the mat, correct?
A – Yes, and still breathing normally and –
Q – Well, no. You're still sitting down now. You can't tell that from sitting down, can you, or can you?
A – No.
Q – Could you tell from sitting down whether he was breathing normally or not?
A – I just assumed that he would still be breathing normally.
Q – So after three to four minutes, then what did you do?
A – I went back because I got concerned.
Q – Did anyone come over to you and ask you to come back?
A – Not at anytime.
Q – So no one ever came to you and said, 'Dr. Mediodia, we would like you to take a look
A – I was doing this all by myself. Nobody was prompting me.
Q – No one had to come to you to ask you to assist Greg at any time after the fight?
A – Not at all.”
(This is contrary to the accounts of witness Jonathan Bryant, a Louisville policeman and friend of Page's, who says he had to go and find Mediodia to bring him to the ring in order to assist Page, and found the doctor on his way out the door. The details of this incident can be found in the first 'Operation Cleanup' book)
Mediodia says that Page had “deteriorated” upon his second examination, to the point where he described page's condition as “stuporous”, meaning that “he could no longer react. He was either sleeping on conscious or semiconscious, but no longer reacting.”
Mediodia testified that “I tested his consciousness.”
“Q – And how did you do that?
A – I broke an ammonia capsule. It's a – ammonia is an – you put it in front of the boxer's nose, and he – he shied away a little from it. Because that's supposed to be a level of consciousness. It's not a cure for anything, you know. So I put that against his nose, and he moved his head slightly to the side. And then I actually gave it to Ms. Love (Patricia Love, Page's fiance and now his wife), because I thought she probably would like to do something, because she was not doing anything. She said, you want me to just put this around his nose? And there was – I think it was one of the trainers said, Doc, give him another one. I said, there's no harm in giving him another one. I broke another one and changed the one that she had, and I gave it to her. But I was satisfied with that reaction that he gave. But as I said, the ammonia capsule is not something to get him back into consciousness. It's just a test of the level of consciousness.
Q – Is an ammonia capsule accepted by any medical standard in 2001?
A – I don't know. It used to be, but I'm not sure whether it was ever banned.”
To the best of Mediodia's recollection, “maybe a little less than an hour, but close to it” had elapsed from the time Page was knocked out to the time an ambulance was called. Amazingly, Mediodia, by his own words, had left the ring AGAIN as he waited for the ambulance to arrive.
“Q – And did you stay with Jack Kerns during that time?
A – Yes. I was with him all that time.
Q – And what did you and Jack Kerns do during that time?
A – Well, we were still watching the proceedings inside the ring.
Q – But you were outside the ring?
A – There was no reason for us to move away from that area.
Q – But you were outside the ring over where you had been sitting with Jack Kerns?
A – Right. yes. Just a few feet away.
Q – All right. And during that ten minutes, did you do anything to assist Greg Page in any
A – No. There was no necessity for treatment or any procedure to be done. His ABC's, as I said, were just perfect.
Q – Well, were you present when the ambulance arrived?
A – I was in the ring when the ambulance arrived, yes.
Q – Did you do anything to assist the ambulance personnel, the EMT's or ambulance personnel?
A – No. The only assistance I did was to recommend him to be taken to St. Luke's.
Q – Did you give the ambulance personnel any information about Greg Page's condition?
A – No. I just assumed they knew what went on and that all his relatives and his trainers would give all the information succeeding that. They probably saw the blow. They probably saw the blow that felled Greg, because they were closer over there in that area.”
And so here was Mediodia, oblivious as to whether there was any resuscitation equipment in the building, not knowing whether he was dealing with an ambulance driver or a paramedic or an EMT, having administered nothing more than ammonia capsules in aid of the stricken fighter, failing to offer any information about Page's condition that might have been helpful, probably not even knowing what Page's condition really WAS. And having left the ring on two different occasions while, as it turned out, Greg Page was fighting for his life.
After all this, Mediodia affirmed, under oath, that he has been engaged as a ringside physician in the state of Kentucky on “five or six occasions” since the Greg Page fight.
Think this stuff is pretty frightening?
We're just getting started.
Copyright 2003 Total Action Inc.