Baseball fans everywhere today were probably either very shocked or saying “I told you so” at the reports that Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games for a banned substance. There is one thing about this that I do not get:
The Los Angeles Dodgers star said he did not take steroids and was prescribed medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance. The commissioner’s office didn’t announce the specific violation by the 36-year-old outfielder, who apologized to the Dodgers and fans for “this whole situation.”
However, two sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that the drug used by Ramirez is HCG — human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a women’s fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Bonds, Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO.
“Recently, I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me,” Ramirez said in a statement issued by the players’ union.
“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.”
If I were a baseball player these days, if my doctor gave me a prescription or supplement, or anything, I would get signed letter from Major League Baseball saying that this prescription or supplement is acceptable to use, or if it isn’t, some type of waiver in special circumstances.
I just cannot fathom why, if Manny’s story is true, that this had happen. It could have easily been avoided (assuming Manny was given this by a doctor) if it had been cleared by the people who could (and in this case, did) suspend him.