Well, I'm posting this in this forum because I assume you guys know the most about steroids here.
I know nothing about steroids, and little about how they affect you. If you can, read what this guys says about Manny Pacquaio going up in weight.
I ask you guys- could it have this kind of effect on a fighter? Typically, we see fighters, like baseball players, crap out around this age... but Pacquaio is physically only getting better.
Brad H. (Tampa, FL): Seeing a much bigger Paul Williams get knocked out with one big shot made me reconsider my views on Pacquiao. Anything can happen on any given night, but he has become invincible against these bigger men/punchers! I never believed the steroids thing and don't want to now, but I really have questions. I just don't believe a much smaller man can develop toughness like we have seen at this stage in his career. Is this pretty much the reason for your suspicion, too?
Vivek W. (ESB): Brad, that's the million dollar question, my man! I've had to look at life deeply, and realize that in the most wicked criminal on the face of the planet, there's something positive; and within the heart of the most humble man, there is also room for deceit. No one is all of either! This has been the most troubling issue I've dealt with as a writer in the sport. Bar none! My son has a room full of Pacquiao and Mayweather posters, shirts, etc. At 5 years old, these are literally the first athletes he has EVER truly identified with and emulated. I was raised on principles and I raise him and my daughter with those same principles. How do I reconcile one hero refusing something I've taught him that every athlete should openly welcome, and the other being completely up for it? See how sensitive this issue is for me? It literally hits home!
Where my questions started was the fact that Pacquiao tipped the scales at the same mid to high 140's since '06 (as records show) yet was rocked far easier, and never did nearly as much physical harm to opponents who were lighter, smaller men. Fast forward a few years, and not only has his punch volume gone up compared to earlier in his career according to compubox stats, (which historically has gone down for men moving up in weight), but also, there's been a difference in his threshold for pain. I don't know what to say, other than the fact that I never questioned his talent one single time over the years until he declined blood based testing, despite his opponent being subjected to the same test. For me, that took things into a totally different direction. People say that Mayweather asked for the test to get him to decline. How do you know in advance that an athlete in a combat sport will refuse a blood based drug test, (of all things)? I can't recall that EVER happening in any sport!
Others say "why only Pacquiao"? Well, because the man he's destined to face is the only other man in the sport with enough status to demand such a thing. Welcome to the big league! You're no longer the only one on your level! Mayweather walked away from a $40M+ payday when ODH refused to give him the upper-hand in negotiations for a rematch after Floyd had already defeated him. That said something to me about his value of certain principles, because you wouldn't expect a man who calls himself "money" to walk away from a purse that big over glove sizes, or a ring size, and things like that! But he did! None of Pacquiao's other opponents would have made the decision to leave this type of money on the table, and none of them have the status to demand such a test! If men and women around the world who run or swim can agree to this very testing the day of the event and still break world records, it just baffles me how an athlete I admire can say no!
I advise anyone who says he is guilty to stop, because we don't know. But I would also advise anyone saying he isn't guilty to stop, because again, WE DON'T KNOW! What I do know is that you're right, Brad, some signs do point to something super-natural. It comes down to two things. If Pacquiao has in fact lost some of his greatness with age like everyone else, does this mean that 90% of him is suddenly this much better than everyone else? Or has he, closing in on 33 years of age with 50+ fights, somehow found a way to turn back the clock and stop his aging, which is precisely what these substances are designed to do? Neither scenario is comforting. Victor Conte is the master creator of these substances. He specifically said "2 months full random blood testing, and NO MORE THAN 5 DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT AS AN EFFECTIVE CUT-OFF". Until Pacquiao goes from 7 days to 5 or less, I can only question his reasons for not taking the test! WE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW!