Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Indefinite Steroid Era?

The Miami New Times has dropped a bomb on professional sports with an exposé by Tim Elfrink entitled, "A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names." Among many, many others, Alex Rodriguez's name appears multiple times in the article, and in the records of alleged steroid distributor Tony Bosch.

In addition to some fantastic investigative journalism, I want to give kudos to the New Times graphic design department for the hilarious cover art displayed with the online article:

I can't decide whether the syringes are meant to resemble literal missiles being dropped at the quaint community depicted, or if they're meant to look like a telltale rainbow? Either way, it's almost enough to distract from the incredible substance of the article.

Lending credence to the evidence of A*Rod's continued drug use are certain names of the Yankee superstar's MLB peers, who have been caught and punished for using a banned substance - like Melky Cabrera, who was suspended for 50 games this past season for testing positive for some illicit drug. Old friend Bartolo Colon is also among those listed in Bosch's records - and was also suspended last season when MLB drug tests revealed his use of synthetic testosterone.

A*Rod, of course, denies the allegations, and the Yankees have released a statement saying that they'll leave the investigation to the Commissioner's Office (which has obviously never bungled a steroid problem before, so THAT'S A RELIEF).  However, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe speculates that the Yankees might sue to have A*Rod's gargantuan contract finished early if the allegations can be proven - which is a shame for me on a personal level because I was really enjoying the buckets of money that the Yankees were paying Rodriguez as we all watched his health deteriorate before out very eyes.

Sadly for Rodriguez, he's out for an extended period of time due to his perpetually bad hip (surely another coincidence, and not a side-effect of many years of steroid use), and as such won't have the chance to be tested by MLB and then get on the field in an attempt to prove he can play clean.  

But even with MLB testing for HGH fr the first time (in season) in 2013, can the results be trusted? Even players making just the major league minimum salary have the money to pay for the newest undetectable drugs, and to hire someone to monitor their regimen.  Even a clean testing record is relatively meaningless in an era where the newest designer PEDs are all but undetectable for the right price, and baseball is full of multi-millionaires.  The article fromthe New Times just reminds us that we're really nowhere different from a decade ago: anyone could be using, and there may never be a way for fans to know for sure who's clean.

But there is one thing we can all be pretty sure of: A*Rod - like Cabrera, and Colon, and Manny Ramirez before him - is not.

[I highly recommend heading over to the Miami New Times website and reading the whole article if you have ten minutes to spare - it's really a good piece of journalism.]

No comments:

Post a Comment