USADA’s response is long on verbiage and short on documented facts. I intend to write another longform article on this subject at some point in the future. For now, I note the following:
(1) The USADA statement goes to great lengths to discredit Victor Conte, attacking him on three separate occasions for past misdeeds (which I referenced in “Can Boxing Trust USADA?”). USADA also states that I “cherry picked Jeff Novitzky’s response to questions posed to him by Mr. Rogan regarding Victor Conte.”
Mr. Novitzky’s remarks came in an interview conducted by Joe Rogan last month (The Joe Rogan Experience #685). In that interview, Mr. Rogan and Mr. Novitzky also discussed IVs. Let’s pick a whole barrel of cherries:
Joe Rogan: “What’s the reason why they can’t use an IV? Is it to mask possible performance enhancing drugs?”
Jeff Novitzsky: “That’s the primary reason. I saw it up front and center in cycling. They were using IVs of saline solution to manipulate their blood level readings, which were being used to determine if they were blood doping. It could also be used to flush a system. It dilutes blood and urine so that natural steroid profiles are very hard to read after you’ve taken an IV bag. That’s the primary reason. WADA also prohibits them for some health reasons. When an IV is administered, especially close to a competition, there’s a possibility of blowing out a vein or having clotting after the IV is taken out. There could be some issues with edema and swelling. If the idea is to rehydrate, it’s much safer to do it orally. Studies show that orally rehydrating is better for you if you’re mildly dehydrated. There’s two things that they show consistently. Number one, it’s obviously safer to put something through your mouth than put it in a needle in your vein. Number two, your perceived rate of exertion, how hard you feel you’re working after rehydrating orally, is less than if you rehydrate via IV. If you rehydrate orally properly, the next day you’re going to feel a whole lot better when you’re exerting yourself.”
“Now that’s mild dehydration,” Novitzky added. As for extreme dehydration, Novitzky suggested, “You probably should go to a hospital. [And] I think you need to notify the commission where you’re fighting.”
If Floyd Mayweather was dehydrated after the May 1 weigh-in, the USADA doping control officer could have given him several glasses of water. USADA has yet to explain the medical justification and supporting data that led it to grant a retroactive therapeutic use exemption nineteen days after the fact for a procedure that’s on the World Anti- Doping Agency’s “Prohibited Substances and Methods List”.
(2) Most of the public attention regarding “Can Boxing Trust USADA?” has focussed on the IV that was administered to Floyd Mayweather one day before his fight against Manny Pacquiao. However, the article also references the two testosterone-to- epitestosterone-ratio test results regarding Mr. Mayweather that were made available to this writer. It would be instructive if Mr. Mayweather granted a waiver to USADA allowing it to release the testosterone-to-epitestosterone-ratio test results for each urine test administered to him by USADA for each of his fights beginning with Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley up to and including Mayweather vs. Andre Berto.
(3) The issues involved here go far beyond Floyd Mayweather. In that regard, I note that USADA’s contention that it advised the New York State Athletic Commission on October 17, 2012, concerning Erik Morales testing positive for Clenbuterol is rebutted by the statement of Laz Benitez (a spokesperson for the New York State Department of State, which oversees the NYSAC). On August 10, 2015, Mr. Benitez advised in writing, “There is no indication in the Commission’s files that it was notified of this matter prior to October 18, 2012.”