“USADA Made It Go Away”: Inside Story Behind Floyd Mayweather’s “Beyond Reach” Exemption Revealed by UFC Legend

Published 05/25/2023, 8:54 AM EDT

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Floyd Mayweather stands as an undeniable contender for the title of the greatest boxer of today’s generation. With an undefeated record of 50-0, Mayweather’s flawless performance in the sport is a testament to his mastery. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that aside from his perfect record, the boxer’s legacy is not without its fair share of controversies outside the ring. These off-ring incidents have somewhat balanced the praise for his in-ring feats. Recently, renowned UFC legend Chael Sonnen has shed light on yet another chapter of controversy involving Mayweather and the USADA.

The USADA has been associated with a number of UFC fighters for reasons that are far from commendable. Prominent names like Jon Jones and Conor McGregor have faced allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs. Even Sonnen has openly admitted to using PEDs during his time in the sport.


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In light of these circumstances, the 46-year-old UFC veteran has recently highlighted an incident involving the boxing GOAT, Floyd Mayweather. Sonnen revealed that Mayweather had received a special exemption despite failing a drug test, allowing him to escape the consequences that would typically follow such a violation.

USADA helped Floyd Mayweather get away with a failed test?

Chael Sonnen recently engaged in a conversation with former UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub, discussing the latest occurrences in the MMA world. As they delved into various topics, the dialogue naturally steered towards the Conor McGregor-USADA feud and the Irishman’s pursuit of an exemption.


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In response to this, Sonnen provided insightful commentary, exemplifying an extraordinary exemption that Floyd Mayweather had received. The 46-year-old revealed, “Bob Bennett[former Nevada Athletic Commission executive director] tested and flagged Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather failed a test according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”

He further elaborated, stating, “USADA comes in and does a post facto exemption which is beyond overreach. He did not have it in place and USADA did an exemption.”


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Sonnen went on to explain the situation, recounting how this incident caused a rift between USADA and the NSAC. Bob Bennett, steadfast in his findings, found himself in opposition to the federal organization. However, despite Bennett’s initial determination, he eventually withdrew from pursuing legal action, leading to Mayweather’s clearance.

To clarify matters, Sonnen added, “So Floyd, just to clear that up, did not, officially did not fail any test. Bob said he did, but USADA made it go away.” This highlighted a unique case where USADA deviated from its usual stance on exemptions, as evidenced by their denial of one for Conor McGregor in the past.


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What are your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather getting such exemption? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Mayur Soni


One take at a time

Mayur Soni is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His journey as an MMA fan started with Conor McGregor’s historic 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo in 2015, which sparked his love for the sport. Since then, he has closely followed the sport and gained an in-depth understanding of its nuances, which reflects in his insightful and analytical writing.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob