"INJECTIONGATE" Story On Shady Website, Written Under Fake Byline, Alleges Steroid, HGH Use By Pacquiao...Manny Responds, Roach Says There Was No Filipino Sparring Partner in 2008-2009
This smells like a Swift Boat type attack to TSS-Editor Mike. But in this day and age, there is, sadly, a different standard for what is "news" than some of us might like, so we decided that we should address this development, even though the source is at first glance beyond weak. (Hogan)
An article which contains accusations that Manny Pacquiao used steroids and human growth hormone is now making the rounds on the Twittersphere. The explosive story is found on www.financebusinessarticles.com, and had been viewed over 700 times as of 4:15 ET on Thursday.
The website doesn't, to be frank, feature any characteristics that would lead us to accept anything written on the website as the gospel truth. The story features the byline of one "mikejohnson313," who fashions himself as a betting expert, and a quick check of his recent posts leads one to believe that English might well not be his native language. So one must view any allegations in the piece with more than a bit of skepticism. But, since the story is making the rounds, and Pacquiao foe Shane Mosley referred to it on his Twitter feed, it is newsworthy.
The story, and really, until I am shown otherwise, it has to be seen as a story, as pure fiction, I can't emphasize this enough, says that "One of Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao's former sparring partners has admitted that he regularly injected the fighter with steroids "in the locker room, in the upper outer quarter of his butt cheek!"
"Johnson" writes that the ex sparing partner, a Filipino and pro boxer, won't reveal his identity because he fears the wrath of his nation. "The Injector" says Pacquiao began using steroids before his December 2008 fight with Oscar De La Hoya. He started using the PED, "Injector" says, because he didn't think he could beat the Golden Boy. "The Injector" says he administered steroids via injection to Pacquiao before his fights with Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, both in 2009.
TSS reached out to Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who communicated back to us that he didn't remember the last time Manny had a Filipino sparring partner. And he said without reservation that he knows Manny didn't have a Filipino sparring partner during the time "The Injector" supposedly functioned as one for Pacman.
"Once a week, right in the locker room of the Wild Card (Gym)," "Johnson" quotes the supposed ex sparring partner as saying, "Manny would drop his shorts and clench his teeth, and I would give him a jab in the upper outer quarter of his butt cheek. He hated every shot."
The story says Pacquiao switched to HGH, mixed with insulin, to avoid detection after Floyd Mayweather and company started insinuating that Pacquiao cheated, and used illegal drugs to gain a performance edge.
"Johnson" says "The Injector" parted ways with Pacquiao after the Cotto fight, but that he "wishes him success" for the Mosley bout.
We're not sure if Mosley read the piece to the end, but amusingly, the piece ends thusly: "I hope he kicks Mosley's butt on Saturday, and I know he will. Mosley used to be a big time juicer, as everyone knows. Maybe he's back on it for this fight. He sure needs to be!" Mosley, on his Twitter feed, wrote: "These are not my words it comes from a article And his sparring partner but if it is true!!!! Than what do you say please google." It looks like his galpal Bella Gonzalez referred to the story first, on her feed, and then Mosley picked up on it.
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, sent word to TSS that he is very disappointed in Mosley for passing on the story via Twitter.
On Thursday night, at 10 PM ET, Pacquiao himself put out a statement.
"An anonymous post on an internet forum claims an unidentified former Filipino sparring partner injected me with steroids before my fight with Oscar de la Hoya and in subsequent fights. This is completely false, totally fabricated, and, not surprisingly, leveled by someone who will not even identify himself. I did not even have a Filipino sparring partner during my training for the fight against De La Hoya or for any fight since then.
I have never taken steroids, HGH, or any banned performance-enhancing drug. Period. My success in the ring is due to hard work, belief in God, and the support of my fans. Like every boxer, I am required to take drug tests in connection with every professional fight in the United States. I have passed every one, including my fight against De la Hoya and my most recent victory against Shane Mosley.
I will fight to protect my hard-earned good name and reputation."
So I repeat: one should assume this is a piece of fiction until it's proven otherwise. The Web can be a positive place, where information can be shared freely and quickly, but material found there must be viewed with an extra dose of skepticism, especially when found on a website with little to no rules, regulations and standards found within channels of real journalism.