Thursday December 24th, 2009

NEW YORK -- Negotiations between representatives for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather remained at an impasse on Wednesday night and are unlikely to be resolved before the Thursday deadline.

Both Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao, and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who is handling the negotiations for Mayweather, told SI.com late Wednesday night that they are still unable to come to an agreement on drug testing for the proposed mega fight and no formal discussions were scheduled at this time. Arum has imposed a Thursday deadline for a deal to be made between the fighters.

Arum told SI.com that his principal complaint is the use of USADA as the testing administrators. Under USADA guidelines, both Pacquiao and Mayweather would be subject to random urine and blood testing at any time before the fight. Arum said he believed the USADA was "compromised" because of their relationship with Golden Boy and proposed that the Kansas City-based National Center for Drug Free Sport -- an agency that has been used by the NFL, NBA and MLB -- be charged with testing before the fight. That agency, Arum said, would limit the number of blood tests -- including no tests within 30 days of the event -- while being free to conduct urine tests at any time.

"We'll take a urine test as Manny is walking into the ring," said Arum. "I don't know what [Mayweather's team] are up to but the tests they are talking about are totally useless."

Schaefer is hoping that recent comments made by Freddie Roach will help move the negotiations along. The Los Angeles Times reported that Roach was agreeable to blood tests as long as they did not occur within 72 hours of the fight. Schaefer told SI.com that the USADA would not test Pacquiao within 48 hours of the fight and that they might explore the possibility of expanding that window as long as "it protected the integrity of the test." Schaefer said he has spoken with members of the USADA and they have assured him that they are sensitive to the schedules kept by top athletes and wouldn't be out there "waking them up in the middle of the night."

"It's important [to Mayweather] that we have these blood tests," said Schaefer. "HGH [human growth hormone] cannot be detected in urine tests. New types of EPO are only detectable by blood tests. This is not about embarrassing anybody or Mayweather trying to get out of this fight. If Mayweather wanted out, there were plenty of other chances for him to do it. This is about being fair."

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