Manny Pacquiao has filed a lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather Jr and Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar de la Hoya over claims he has used performance-enhancing drugs.
The Filipino fighter, a six-weight world champion, withdrew from a potentially hugely lucrative bout against Mayweather in March next year after the American’s camp demanded Olympic-style drug-testing procedures be put in place in the lead-up to the fight.
The lawsuit launched by Pacquiao in a Las Vegas district court names Mayweather and his father Floyd senior, De La Hoya and fellow Golden Boy executive Richard Schaefer.
The lawsuit claims the Mayweathers, De La Hoya and Schaefer knew that Pacquiao had never taken performance-enhancing drugs, knew their statements were false, but made them anyway out of “ill-will, spite, malice, revenge, and envy”.
Daniel Petrocelli, a lawyer acting for Pacquiao, said: “Manny Pacquiao’s achievements come from God-given talent and an indefatigable work ethic – not steroids. He cannot and will not allow others to deliberately misrepresent his years of hard work and tarnish his reputation.”
The Mayweather camp insisted on both fighters making themselves available for testing before the projected March 13 fight, in accordance with US Anti Doping Agency regulations.
Pacquiao refused to submit to blood testing in the 30 days leading up to the fight, saying he would only give blood before the initial media conference and immediately after the bout and spoke last week of starting legal proceedings against the Mayweather camp.
The US fighter’s team tried to diffuse that issue in a statement last week.
It read: “Let it be very clear that nobody from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions is accusing Pacquiao of anything.
“But the reality seems to be that, for whatever reason, Pacquiao does not want to participate in random blood testing, which has already been deemed a harmless procedure that many current athletes are subjected to, prior to and during competition.”