More to follow.
So the rumor mill is churning on this one, and initially I'd heard everything from steroids to recreational drugs. But now it seems we have a culprit - HCG. What is HCG you say? Well read on. The NY Daily News (among other sources, including ESPN) came out with the following:
"Despite Ramirez's claims in a statement released by the MLB Players Association that he was suspended for something other than a steroid, a source told the Daily News that the suspension was for a post-steroid cycle drug called Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG.
Former slugger and admitted longtime steroid user Jose Canseco was detained at the Mexican border last fall and charged with possession of hCG, which helps a player re-establish normal testosterone production after extensive steroid use. It also helps combat testiclular atrophy and is similar to the fertility drug Clomid, which was used by several BALCO clients, including Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds."Hmmm...so it sounds like he didn't TECHNICALLY take steroids (well it sounds like he probably did, but let's say he didn't get busted for it in this case), but tested positive for a drug that usually follows steroid use. But couldn't he have been prescribed it for a legitimate reason? According to Wikipedia, "Typical uses for hCG in men include hypogonadism and fertility treatment." So, unless he's impotent, basically, it sounds like, no. And even if it was, which the likelihood looks ever slimmer and slimmer, the bottom line is that as one of the biggest stars in MLB, you better make sure that you and your doctor check, recheck and triple check everything he's giving you against the banned substance list. "I didn't know what I was taking, my doctor said it was OK" is not an excuse, not even close.
It doesn't seem like he's putting up much of a fight, accepting the suspension without even an appeal. Personally, I could care less about Manny Ramirez as a player. He's never been very likable, and I'm not going to be that sad that he's missing 50 games. What I DO care about is the fact that this is another blemish on the game, another thing that detractors and haters will point to as a reason baseball is a sham. I don't share those convictions, but my faith is a little more shaken.