Mayweather, USADA dispute IV doping pre-Pacquiao bout

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LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. insists he did nothing wrong in taking an IV solution to rehydrate after the weigh-in for his fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Doping officials on Thursday also backed Mayweather, saying he disclosed the infusion to them before taking it and that it contained no prohibited substances.

A report Wednesday by SB Nation said representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency saw that Mayweather had taken the IV when they went to collect urine samples from him after the weigh-in. The report said the Mayweather did not receive a formal exemption from the USADA for the IV until three weeks after the fight.

But the USADA said it was aware of the IV prior to it being taken and that the Nevada Athletic Commission and Pacquiao’s representatives were notified. In a statement, the agency referred to what it called “numerous unfounded and false accusations” in the article, saying they were either a “genuine misunderstanding of the facts or an intentional desire to mislead.”

“It is simply absurd to suggest that we would ever compromise our integrity for any sport or athlete,” the statement said.

The substances in the IV – a saline solution and vitamins – are not banned by the USADA. But the World Anti-Doping Agency does not allow the high volume that Mayweather took because it can mask other substances.

“Although Mr. Mayweather’s application was not approved until after his fight with Mr. Pacquiao and all tests results were reported, Mr. Mayweather did disclose the infusion to USADA in advance of the IV being administered to him,” USADA’s statement read.

It added that once the therapeutic use exemption was granted, the Nevada commission and Pacquiao were immediately notified even though the practice is not prohibited.

Mayweather, who is fighting Andre Berto on Saturday, said he has always been a strong supporter of athletes being clean. His insistence on having the USADA do random testing was one reason his fight with Pacquiao took place five years after it was originally proposed.

“I did not commit any violations of the Nevada or USADA drug testing guidelines,” Mayweather said in a statement. “I follow and have always followed the rules of Nevada and USADA, the gold standard of drug testing.”

Tyson, 54, to return for exhibition match against Jones Jr.

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CARSON, Calif. — Mike Tyson is coming back to boxing at age 54.

The former heavyweight champion will meet four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history when he won the title in 1986 at age 20 and for a time was the most feared fighter in boxing. But his career became littered with distractions and he hasn’t boxed since 2005 after losing his second straight fight.

He has occasionally teased a return with workout videos and it’s finally scheduled to happen.

Jones, 51, won titles in the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight before moving up to win the heavyweight title in 2003, becoming the first former middleweight champion to do so in 106 years.

The event will air on pay-per-view and the social media music platform Triller. Further matches on the card and musical entertainment will be announced in the coming weeks.

Boxer Errol Spence in ICU after Ferrari crash in Dallas

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DALLAS — Welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence crashed a speeding Ferrari in Dallas early Thursday and was badly injured but is expected to survive, police said.

The crash happened just before 3 a.m., when Spence’s Ferrari crossed a median into oncoming traffic and flipped over several times, police said.

Spence was taken to a hospital, where he was placed in the intensive care unit. Police said they’re still investigating the cause of the crash, but they noted that the Ferrari was speeding at the time.

Last month, the former U.S. Olympian added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter in Los Angeles.

With his rangy athleticism and virtuosic skill, Spence (26-0) has captured fans with a series of crisp victories in recent years. He won the IBF title in 2017 by stopping Kell Brook in England, and he defended it three times, culminating in a one-sided thrashing of undersized Mikey Garcia in March.

His bout with the veteran brawler Porter (30-3-1) was Spence’s biggest test yet, and he emerged victorious from a fight that featured several wild exchanges of punches and had the Staples Center crowd of 16,702 on its feet throughout the 12th round, roaring for both fighters when they embraced after the final bell.