Pacquiao maintains he doesn't take steroids

Posted at 11/20/2012 9:57 PM | Updated as of 11/21/2012 11:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao insists that he has never benefited from steroids or performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

In an interview with USA Today’s Jon Saraceno, Pacquiao asserted that his ring successes have nothing to do with drug use.

"It's all God,'' he said, "and hard work.''

He said it his faith and his dogged persistence inside the ring that helped him to become the only boxer to win eight world titles in eight weight classes.

“In my heart, I know and I believe, I have used nothing,'' said Pacquiao.

Allegations of steroid use first came out when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and members of his camp alluded that the Filipino boxer has been using PEDs.

A video footage even showed Mayweather Jr. launching a scathing attack against Pacquiao, accusing the Filipino of taking “power pellets.”

The "Pacman" responded by filing a defamation suit against Mayweather, who later retracted his claim and settled out of court.

In a statement, the Mayweathers clarified that “they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance-enhancing drugs. Nor are they aware of any evidence Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs.”

“Manny Pacquiao is a great champion and no one should construe any of our prior remarks as claiming that Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs,” the statement said.

Pacquiao said he has avoided drug use because he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate that befell seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

"When I think about (Armstrong) . . . that is why I never have used drugs like steroids for my career,'' he said.

"Why use illegal drugs — steroids — and ruin your name? You can't be proud if you are using performance-enhancing [substances] when you're on top. It's kind of cheating the people and your opponent. You can be successful without using. If you use, you don't believe 100% in yourself," he explained.