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VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) has issued an official statement confirming that both Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios have been tested twice with still a month before their November 23 clash in Macau, China.
The statement on VADA's official website wrote:
"Top Rank has requested that VADA issue the following statement, hereby confirming that both Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios have each been tested at least twice since they entered the VADA program on September 12, 2013 and that both camps have cooperated fully. VADA salutes Top Rank, Team Pacquiao, and Team Rios for their commitment to clean sport."
Both Pacquiao and Rios signed up for extra voluntary random blood and urine drug testing by the agency in an effort to help clean up boxing from nasty allegations of doping.
Controversial conditioning coach
The statement dispels rumors stirred up through social media by Brandon Rios' outspoken strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.
Ariza tweeted on Wednesday:
"Brandon's second test by VADA. VADA just confirmed they have yet to test Manny and there are NO plans to test him until China.. That's fair."
The controversy isn't the first time the contentious strength and conditioning trainer has managed to shift media attention to himself before a fight. Ariza, who served as Pacquiao's strength and conditioning trainer for a number of years before getting the boot prior to this fight, was at the center of a contractual dispute with former client Amir Khan a few years back, wherein he allegedly coerced Khan to sign a contract just hours before fighting Marcos Maidana.
Among other incidents Ariza has involved himself in are physical altercations with Team Pacquiao members and verbal tirades against Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, and trainer Freddie Roach through the media. In a tweet last month, Ariza blamed Roach's "inability to push his fighters anymore" as the reason for his 2-year losing streak and his fighters getting knocked out.
"Because Freddie physically can't push the fighters anymore and it's caused a 2yr losing streak and It's getting fighters Knock Out!"
Ariza had also been vocal about Pacquiao's decision of not subscribing to his strength and conditioning methods as a big reason for his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fight last December and has now labeled his former boss as an "ordinary fighter".
Is Ariza simply asking an honest question about fairness? Or is he still salty about getting booted from Team Pacquiao?