A state lawyer assigned to the Nevada Athletic Commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding Manny Pacquiao’s injured shoulder and the boxer’s request for an anti-inflammatory drug nearly three hours before he fought Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar said Tuesday the assistant attorney general who works with his agency, Vivienne Rakowsky, is studying the matter in light of the fact that Pacquiao submitted a document indicating he had no health problems yet wanted a shot of Toradol at 6:08 p.m. Saturday.
“That’s why we were puzzled,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said it’s premature to say Pacquiao committed perjury by signing the pre-fight medical questionnaire saying he had no injury to his shoulders. That’s among the issues Rakowsky will look into, and any decision to prosecute a perjury allegation would come after the deputy attorney general completes her investigation, Aguilar said.
“We don’t want to set a precedent for future fighters. We want future fighters to be honest with their health and medical conditions,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said the state attorney general has a second lawyer, Chris Eccles, assigned to the athletic commission who prosecutes legal matters.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Adam Laxalt would neither “confirm or deny” the investigation.
Pacquiao’s camp issued a statement Monday saying the Nevada Athletic Commission was aware of the injured shoulder five days before the fight.
In part, the statement said, “On his pre-fight medical form filled out earlier in the week, Manny’s advisers listed the medication that Manny used in training and the medications that might be used on fight night.”
Team Pacquiao also said it had disclosed the injury and treatment to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which oversaw the prefight drug testing for Pacquiao and Mayweather.
But Aguilar said it’s the Nevada Athletic Commission and not the federal anti-doping agency that regulates professional boxing matches in Nevada.
Las Vegas-based Top Rank, a fight co-promoter who represented Pacquiao, referred questions to its lawyers, Daniel Petrocelli and David Marroso. They could not be reached for comment.
Aguilar said the athletic commission was not only unaware of Pacquiao’s shoulder injury before the fight, but that if the boxer was allowed to receive the anti-inflammatory drug, he might be hurt during the match and not feel the pain.
“He could have potentially been worse off because he would never have felt the pain,” Aguilar said.
Pacquiao, 36, will have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder later this week after reinjuring the joint during Saturday’s 12-round loss to Mayweather.
The Pacquiao shoulder issue has also triggered a lawsuit.
Clark County ticket holders Staphane Vanel and Kami Rahbaran said in the suit, filed Tuesday, that the Filipino national should have disclosed the shoulder injury before the bout.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Las Vegas, seeks $5 million in damages on behalf of everyone who bought tickets or a pay-per-view package or even wagered money on the fight — a number plaintiffs say is in the hundreds of thousands.
Top Rank Inc., the company’s president Todd Duboef, treasurer Bob Arum, and the boxer’s adviser Michael Koncz, also are named in the suit.
The Nevada Athletic Commission said Pacquiao checked “no” in his prefight medical questionnaire when asked this question question: “Have you had any injury to your shoulders, elbows or hands that needed evaluation or examination?”
Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at email@example.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV.