GL: Obviously you're aware of the all of the hoopla surrounding the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Not the fight itself, rather the testing the fighters will udergo. After initially making some concessions, Arum has made it clear that he is leaving this to the Vegas Commission. As the Commissioner, can you tell us how Nevada will handle this matter? "As of right now, this is nothing different than any other fight we've had in Nevada. We'll do fight night drug testing via urine. We may, if we so choose, do in training urine tests as well. Neither side has asked us to do anything differently than that, so that's where it stands with the Nevada Athletic Commission."
GL: Does Mayweather requesting additional testing not mandated by the NSAC lead you to believe that he feels your methods of testing are prehistoric?
KK: "No. Not at all. I've talked to Leonard Ellerbe about it. That's definitely not their stance nor is it the stance they will be taking."
GL: Do you think they have any position to claim that Manny Pacquiao is on something based on what you've seen in his fights from ringside?
KK: "Nothing I've seen. No. Both of these gentleman have been successful moving up in weight and they've passed every drug test we've given them, so I'm pretty cofident they're playing by the rules, however that doesn't mean we're not going to be testing them fight night regardless of who they fight."
GL: If the fight happens, the commissions drug testing procedures would be the standard operatig procedure that has been used in countless fights before it, correct?
KK: "That's what we're using now. As with anything, any licensee can petition us to do something different. Years ago the Contender petitioned us for a smaller ring. The Commission at that time turned them down. We've had the UFC petition us to do their TV show and that petition was accepted. We've had other petitions over the years, some granted, some not. Any licensee, a fighter, promoter or both, can request that we do something additional. What the Commission would decide there would depend on the facts, the circumstances, the evidence and the five votes."
GL: Who other than yourself would vote?
KK: "I don't get a vote. I'm the director, there's five Commissioners, they would vote and majority rules."
GL: As of now have any petitions been filed?
GL: Have the Mayweather people indicated that they will be filing one?
KK: "No. I've talke to Leonard Ellerbe a couple of times over the last couple of weeks and they were very positive conversations. He's always been a professional with us and nothing has changed in that regard. Whether or not he or Mr. Schaefer or anybody else on the Mayweather side of the fight would file something, you have to ask them."
GL: You weren't in charge when the De La Hoya-Mosley rematch took place, but we all know what happened with Shane following that fight. Have the standards of the commission been upgraded since then?
KK: "Well I don't think that's the correct terminology. My understanding on the clear and the cream back then, not being an expert myself, but talking to experts was, that was invented by Balco to evade the drug testing that was being done on the time. Now they have a test for the clear and the cream, and the use of it has gone way down with the experts because now you can get caught. Now you have Marion Jones getting away with that at the Olympics, but we were able to catch Fernando Vargas and Ben Johnson. I think the standards have always been the highest level of testing. However, there are people out there who have temporarily found ways to evade the drug testing. That's what these experts get paid for, to close that gap and that time between the development of a new drug and a efficient test for it.
I know HGH, they're still trying to find an efficient blood and urine test for it. There will always be that cat and mouse game. Our goal is not to catch people, but to deter them from using anything in the first place. You have to think the first deterrant is common decency. You're not just hitting a baseball further, you're hitting another human in the head harder than you should be able to. That in itself, should be enough to keep people from cheating like this. I think the congressional hearings have gone a long way in labeling these guys as losers and cheaters, whereas five years ago people would say why didn't that guy find a better way to cheat. Now they treat him Rosie Ruiz jumping on a subway in the Boston marathon. I think the public reaction more than anything else has helped these athletes realize that it's not worth it. I think a lot of athletes might have used in the past because they thought their opponent was and they weren't looking for an unfair advantage, they will looking to even the playing field.
GL: Does Pacquiao not wanting to take the additional tests seems suspicious to you or do you think it's more of who the hell are you to tell me which non-mandated tests to take?
KK: "Part of it might be the latter there, that both sides have dug in their heels pretty good based on the language used by both sides. As far as blood testing, you could have a situation where you could have bruising, you could nick a vein. I would never want to do blood testing in a locker room because it's an unsterile situation where you could have infection. Or Godforbid, they get infected with another disease because of the needle. It's a lot more dangerous than urine testing. We do require blood testing for HIV and Hepatitis B and C because that is the only efficient way to test for those viruses. And that's usually done 30 days before the fight unless somebody is a last minute sub, but those are done in a doctors office or a hospital, a sterile environment."
GL: Do you ever see USADA testing becoming the standard in boxing?
KK: "I don't know if there's much of a difference between what the USADA does and what the Nevada Commission or any other Commission does. The labs we use follow the same type of procedures. We all use the WADA list of prohibited substances."