Monday, August 20, 2012


Steroids and Sport-2012

With the recent suspension of baseball’s Melky Cabrera, the ugliness of the steroid era has been exposed yet again. Cabrera has been suspended for fifty games, ending his season. Cabrera has been playing for the San Francisco Giants, and was having a fine year, up to this point.

In fact, he recently won the award as the Most Valuable Player in the All Star game. Now he is out of work.

In a Sun Media article in last Saturday’s paper, Ken Fidlin wrote: “Major League Baseball wants everyone to believe that performance enhancing drugs are a thing of the deep, dark, dirty past, held in check by a thoroughly modern testing apparatus”. As we have now discovered, such is not the case.

Cabrera was in the midst of his best season, ever, in baseball. He was batting .346, had 11 home runs, and 60 runs-batted-in. His two key hits in the All Star Game ensured that the National League would have home field advantage in the upcoming World Series. His suspension will also jeopardize the chances of the San Francisco Giants making the playoffs.

Victor Conte knows a little about this topic. He owned a lab in the Bay area called BALCO, and he supplied many athletes with performance enhancing drugs. He got caught, served hard time, and is now out of the business. But he does go on the record as saying that the use of a new “synthetic testosterone” is now widespread among athletes. He calls it “the biggest loophole in anti-doping”.

Athletes can spread testosterone cream on their body, get the healing benefits overnight, and in the morning their levels of the drug are back to normal baseline counts. Conte said that there is a way to test for the substance, but that it is not being widely used. He said that cheating is currently like “taking candy from a baby”.

In a rather interesting attempt to avoid the suspension, Cabrera and his cronies set up a fictitious website, along with a product that does not exist, to prove that he inadvertently took the drug. But he became entrapped in a series of falsehoods and lies.

Jeff Novitzky is a criminal investigative agent for the American Food and Drug Administration. He and his cohorts are investigating all of the activities surrounding Cabrera’s suspension: his trainers, handlers and agents, his friends, and likely his teammates, as they search for the source of the synthetic testosterone that first became apparent at the All Star Game.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig spoke to a group of owners last week in Denver. He told the owners that they will be “shocked” when they hear what’s been going on.

Cabrera spent his first five years in the big leagues in New York with the Yankees. He then spent a year in Atlanta, and another in Kansas City, before signing with the Giants this year. He was going to become a free agent after this season. With all of the numbers that he was putting in the statistics book, it is estimated that he would have been offered a contract for $75 million over five years. Easy come, easy go.

Many of the players who play it straight are angry that yet another of their fellow players has been caught. Melky should have to pay the piper. His All Star MVP title should be stripped, along with all of the toys he got in the deal.

Sooner or later, professional sports will become clean. Let’s hope so.

Great article Jimmy!
Jon Bockmann
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