by Irvin Muchnick
Writing in SB Nation, Thomas Hauser planted a stinkweed at Floyd Mayweather’s retirement party by revealing that the boxer had a questionable intravenous injection a day before his megabillions fight against Manny Pacquiao.
The story is important for our purposes because it involves Travis Tygart, chief of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) — who is also a key unexamined figure in the decades-long cover-ups of sexual abuse at USA Swimming.
In a bit of “brand extension,” USADA contracted with Mayweather Promotions to coordinate the drug testing for Mayweather-Pacquiao. You see, Mayweather fights are sort of like Charlie Chaplin movies: the principal star also produces, directs, writes the script, and scores the music. It was a recipe for conflict, but then so is USADA itself. And large swaths of the public remain amazingly gullible about the incongruity of being sold that such a scheme can result in “independent” oversight.
The Tygart group’s explanation of the Mayweather fiasco is gibberish. It means nothing that the Mayweather camp notified USADA “in advance” that he was going to take an IV of “saline and vitamins.” The World Anti-Doping Agency bans such cocktails, in part because they can mask the presence of steroid/human growth hormone intake.
Nor does it matter that USADA later “granted” Mayweather a murky therapeutic use exemption. A retroactive TUE is an oxymoron. Real exemptions are applied for and vetted prior to approval.
And finally and most laughably, no procedural rigor is validated by the fact that Pacquiao was informed of all this after the fight. “Even though” the rules didn’t entitle Pacquiao to know, the USADA statement brags!
That Travis Tygart — opportunistic and self-promoting prosecutor of Lance Armstrong, years after it mattered — should have lipoproteins on his face comes as no surprise to readers of this space. Before climbing the staff ladder at USADA, Tygart was an associate at the Holme, Roberts & Owen law firm in Denver (now Bryan Cave). There he was divvied up his share of the secretive internal hearings on complaints of sexually abusive swim coaches. The results of even the guilty verdicts were not published until 2010. By that time, Tygart was long gone from Bryan Cave and in hot pursuit of Armstrong in the everlasting revolving door of the U.S. Olympic Committee, its affiliated national sport governing bodies, and the Bryan Cave mafia.
One of the swim coaches “independently” investigated by Tygart was Venezuela’s Simon “Danny” Chocron, who molested many boys and girls at the club of the Bolles prep school in Jacksonville. That this just so happened to be where Tygart got his own secondary education wasn’t deemed grounds for recusal; for all we know, the swimming moguls and their legal and PR mouthpieces regarded it as a special qualification. In the end — and after Chocron jumped bail on a multiple-count guilty plea and fled back to Venezuela, where he coaches to this day — USA Swimming’s National Board of Review “banned” Chocron but, evidently, forgot to circulate the memo to anyone outside its Colorado Springs office.
Floyd Mayweather, Travis Tygart — more than sparring partners. As a matter of fact, they’re both Money.