Entries Tagged as 'Performance Enhancers'

What a difference age and well… other factors can have

Take a look at this photo.

Yes, that is really Barry Bonds.  Photo circa 1987 and part of Sports Illustrated’s Andy Gray’s vault of photos.

Reyes subpoenaed in case against HGH doctor

Dr Nick Simpsons Apparently, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was subpoenaed in the case of Canadian Dr Anthony Galea.  Galea, who is not licensed to practice in the U.S. is under investigation for smuggling HGH into the country. 

Reyes isn’t the only one to be subpoenaed.  The list is long and the athletes on it are quite high-profile.  At this point though, Reyes is the only baseball player whose name has come to light:

The doctor’s client list is elite; it includes Tiger Woods, U.S. Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, Broncos quarterback Chris Simms, former Browns running back Jamal Lewis, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and Donovan Bailey of Canada, who won the 100 meters at the 1996 Olympics.

All the athletes, of course, deny using HGH or any performance enhancing substances provided by Galea. 

What does this mean for Reyes?  Assuming he’s innocent (a prudent assumption until other evidence comes to light), it will be a distraction and depending how long this lasts, at a critical time in the pre-season.  It can only delay his season development with the Mets.

Reyes has already met with the FBI who came to the Port St Lucie spring training grounds.  And when federal officials start visiting ballparks, the media is right behind them.  Not just the normal sports media but news media, too.

If you’re wondering, Reyes went on record denying any involvement with HGH:

"They asked me if he injected me with that. I say ‘No,’" Reyes said. "What we do there, basically, he took my blood out, put it in some machines, spin it out and put it back in my leg. So I explained to them that."

Now Tiger Woods, this is the kind of distraction he probably needs. 

Redding thinks Mike Basick is pretty groovy

There have been rumors before but Tim Redding came right out and said it.  On the radio. 

He accused former teammate Mike Basick of throwing a fat pitch to Barry Bonds when Barry broke Hank Aaron’s career homerun record.

"I mean, the guy that gave it up, I never want to speak ill of anybody," Redding said. "Mike Bacsik is a stand-up guy. He’s a little quirky, but he’s a nice guy, means well. I think he wanted to give it up. And he can say what he wants in defense or whatnot, but doing the chart, I mean, every ball that Barry hit, the ball was center cut, right down the middle, fastball. You know, I think maybe inside he was thinking he was going to get a little bit more publicity. Maybe, you know, publicity and some money out of it, appearances, stuff like that. But it is what it is. I would have had no problem giving it up. The next night I actually gave up the new record. I gave up a home run [to Bonds] that night, his first at-bat, he kept one fair down the right-field line. And I was the next new record, until the next guy gave one up."

As a curious aside… F.P. Santangelo was one of the radio co-hosts interviewing Redding.  Always wondered what happened to F.P.

Pay Attention! Stimulant exemptions up in MLB

There’s an interesting piece over at The Biz of Baseball on a report put out by the MLBPA and MLB.  The report contains among other things, the number of players who were granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) from baseball’s drug policy due to their particular conditions.  All told, 115 players were exempted in one way or another from MLB’s drug policy.  Of those 115, an overwhelming 108 were being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): 108
  • Hypertension: 2
  • Hypogonadism: 2
  • Narcolepsy: 1
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): 1
  • Post-Concussion Disorder: 1

During their mandatory testing in 2009, MLB found 11 instances of Adderall, a stimulant, which is an approved substance used in the treatment of ADD.

MLB players being treated for ADD is nothing new.  A few years back, relief pitcher Scott Eyre was very open about his ADD and treatment for it.  Apparently, he was bouncing all over the place before getting help.  Once treated, he could focus and started to pitch better.  Rumor has it, his bench-mates could tolerate him better, too.

Two things I’m taking away from this… One, I never knew the extent of those baseball players who have ADD (or, let’s face it, claim to have ADD).  Out of the relatively small number of players that play in the majors, 108 is a pretty high number. 

Two, it seems Adderall is the drug of choice to treat ADD among players.  I know for a fact there is a variety of drugs out there that treat ADD and they don’t all work the same.  It just seems odd that among the 3000+ drug tests that the MLB administered that another drug wasn’t found.

Finally, in case you are wondering (I was):

Hypogonadism is when the sex glands produce little or no hormones. In men, these glands (gonads) are the testes; in women, they are the ovaries.

I know… too much information..

Q&A on the 03 drug test ruling

The New York Daily News has a pretty objective breakdown (a FAQ, if you will) on last week’s court ruling centered around 2003 drug test.

Q:Was the ruling a surprise?

A:Not exactly. It upheld previous rulings by other federal judges, and the bulk of the opinion’s reasoning was a reiteration of established legal precedents, especially concerning probable cause and other protections of the Fourth Amendment.

Maybe a bit dry reading for those who just want to skip to part where hang those taking PEDs but *I* found the article interesting. 

Sammy Sosa, Steroids, and Anonymity

What is the biggest issue here?  The fact that Sosa may have used PEDs?  Or that the results from a federally administrated (and confidential) test which were contractually promised to remain anonymous were made public?

From Circling the Bases:

The greater wrong in my mind is the fact of the leaks themselves. I’m a lawyer by trade, and it shocks me that fellow officers of the court are divulging this sort of information to the media. This is evidence that was seized in an ongoing criminal case that is subject to court order putatively preventing its release. The act of leaking this stuff is, at the very least, a violation of that court order and a violation of legal ethics. Depending on the exact language of the order, it could be a criminal act. I don’t know about you, but that causes me far more concern than whether Sammy Sosa took steroids six years ago.

I know, I know, now that the truth is known, no one cares.  No one is going to cry a river for poor Sammy Sosa.  I don’t have any sympathy for him myself.  But the issue of anonymity during these tests are crucial.  I still think it’s a slippery slope we’re sliding down. 

These “anonymous” tests are going to mean jack squat after a while and its use as a tool will lose its effectiveness.

Ibanez a bit testy over steroid allegation

What can Raul Ibanez do to prove he’s clean of steroids?  Whatever it is, he’ll do it.

Responding to a posting on midwestsportsfans.com and the comments that ensued that implicated him of using PEDs, Ibanez is willing to go above and beyond to prove he’s innocent.

"You can have my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool — anything you can test," Ibanez said, according to the report. "I’ll give you back every dime I’ve ever made" if the test is positive, he added.

But he also wants to hold people accountable for their statements:

"I’ll put that up against the jobs of anyone who writes this stuff," he said, according to the Inquirer. "Make them accountable. There should be more credibility than some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement. It demeans everything you’ve done with one stroke of the pen.

“Mother’s basement”… ouch!

For what it’s worth, the article on midwestsportsfans.com makes a bold assertion but is well thought out, not leaning toward the sensationalistic and backed up by stats.  Plus it looks at all sides of the issues.  The comments, of course are not.  But that is the nature of discourse.

But I’m not taking sides here… I don’t want Raul showing at on my door with a vial of urine or anything.

Some words of calm wisdom from Tom Glavine… or is it damage control?

Tom Glavine talked to the press Friday about PED testing standards in the major leagues.

“I think that it’s easy to sit on the outside, look at what has happened and blame Bud Selig or Don Fehr and the Players Association by saying that one of these guys or all of these guys knew more and should have known more,” Glavine said. “You know what? I don’t think it’s fair to say that.

While I’m certainly not ready to absolve Bud Selig on the matter especially considering what he said the other day about not taking responsibility on the steroid issue, Glavine’s point is somewhat well taken.  The fans and the media are busy playing the blame game and most of the dialogue I hear is more directed at hatin’ on the player rather than solving the problem. 

My friend Nick once told me, “C’mon, fans like to boo!”.  Of course, he was talking about within a ballgame.  However, you could extend his point to the broader context of Major League Baseball and problems it faces.  A lot of fans (most?) would just as soon read the headlines and listen to the sound bites throw ARod to the wolves.  Most of the media, unfortunately, is complicit in this as well, fueling the fire of contempt rather than providing good solutions to the issue. 

I’m not an ARod fan and I’m certainly not condoning what he did.  I’ve just seen and heard what has happened in the past with similar issues.  Bonds, McGwire, the list is long and problem is still here. 

Glavine does advocate for consequences for Alex Rodriguez, as well he should, 

“There comes a time for everybody in life — I don’t care where you are or what you do — that you have choices to make, and sometimes people make bad choices.  If you make a bad choice, then that’s your responsibility to deal with the consequences of that bad choice, and certainly Alex is having to deal with that.

However, baseball management was definitely responsible, at least in part, for not quelling the steroid issue at some point.  With his statement to the press, Glavine needs to be careful while he treads a fine line between calm, reasoned thought and being a ‘yes’ man for the MLB (ironic since he is the player rep for the NL). 

All parties need to take responsibility…

AROD, AROID???

alex-rodriguez-picture-5 FINALLY!!! A BIG FISH, AROD has been caught in baseball’s roid dragnet. I’ve been complaining about this for a long time, the only players being caught have been minor league Hispanics of marginal talent. Now it comes out Alex Rodriguez tested positive in 2003, but this story comes from a Sports Illustrated’s article, written by David Epstein & Selena Roberts, rather than MLB.

Four independent sources have told SI that Alex tested positive for two anabolic steroids. In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez’s name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s ’03 survey testing, SI’s sources say.

When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. “You’ll have to talk to the union,” said Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, “I’m not saying anything.”

Baseball’s drug policy prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, but there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003.

As part of an agreement with the players’ union, the testing in 2003 was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.

The results of the testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner’s office and the union. SI reported that Rodriguez’s testing information was found after federal agents, with search warrants, seized the 2003 results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., in Long Beach, Calif.

Now the question has got to be, does MLB FINALLY get it? This steroid problem needs to be taken seriously. It wasn’t just a few players then, it isn’t a few minor league Hispanic players today, this problem is rampant, it needs to be taken seriously, and it needs to be addressed now!

Latest Druggie Caught in MLB’s Fishnet

Here is another example of MLB catching a young Latino taking performance enhancers. There has to be a reason why all of these Hispanic players are being caught. Either they’re being targeted, which I doubt, or they don’t fully understand the rules, and what is okay to take, and what is not, which I suspect to be the case. Somehow MLB needs to get the word out to these young men, before they are forced to pay the price. It seems very strange to me that these marginally talented young men are caught, and established stars are very rarely nabbed.

Marlins Minor League pitcher Pascual Arias was handed a 50-game suspension on Tuesday. The 20-year-old was suspended for being in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The infielder tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. Arias had been playing Summer League ball in the Dominican Republic. A converted infielder, Arias was hitless in 20 at-bats with 11 strikeouts and a walk in 2007. This past season, Arias pitched in 14 games and was 0-1 with 4.50 ERA.