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In Least Surprising News of 2012, Cyborg Santos Tests Positive for Steroids

Gee, what gave it away? The 20″ biceps? The six-pack abs? The Adam’s apple? Oh I get it, it was the hair on her knuckles and chest that tipped everyone off.

Yes, Cyborg Santos tested positive for stanozolol metabolites following a Dec. 17 title defense at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal. She’s been suspended a year, fined $2,500, and her win over Hiroko Yamanaka has been overturned to a no-contest.

Her positive test takes away one of the main attractions in women’s MMA and almost kills the top division. About the only thing fans have to look forward to is Ronda Rousey against Miesha Tate in March, which should be exciting.

But now that Cyborg’s been popped for roids, about the only thing I’m wondering is when they’re going to find her twig and gigs. Where does she hide big old mister knish when she’s fighting?

Shaun Marcum Would Be ‘Shocked’ if Teammate Ryan Braun Took Steroids

As baseball fans we have all learned not to be surprised when we hear any name associated with performance-enhancing drug use. That being said, Ryan Braun is one of those names that causes the tiniest raise of the eyebrow.  You wouldn’t really expect to hear Braun’s name thrown in with the likes of Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi.  According to Braun’s teammate, Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum, it would be a huge surprise if the rest results are upheld and Braun is suspended for 50 games.

“I’d be shocked,” Marcum said according to the Journal Sentinel. “Like I say, he is one of those guys – his image, everything he does in the game – he is just one of those guys who you would never suspect or think he was taking anything illegally or do anything to cheat. I have seen him in the weight room. I have seen him in the batting cages. His work ethic is second to none. … I could never imagine him or think he was going to do something performance enhancing-wise to cheat. He is just one of those guys who respects work.”

Marcum said he heard the news via text from his mother when he was out in Las Vegas.  We already had Aaron Rodgers defending Braun in saying that there should be some sort of confidentiality with the tests until after the appeal, and it’s hard to argue with that.  Rumors have swirled about prescription medicines and substances other than steroids or HGH, but unfortunately for Braun we’ve grown tired of hearing those excuses.

It is always a possibility that Braun wins his appeal, but that has never happened in baseball when dealing with failed drug tests.  Like Marcum explained, it is the job of his teammates to support him until he’s proven guilty.  If he is, it will be yet another reminder that you can no longer trust anyone — regardless of how unlikely it may seem that they would cheat.

Ryan Braun Tests Positive for Performance-Enhancing Drugs During MVP Season

Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his MVP season, ESPN reports. The Brewers outfielder reportedly tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. A secondary test was performed on his sample and it was determined the testosterone was synthetic, meaning it came from outside his body.

The urine sample reportedly was provided during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test late October. Braun reportedly has been disputing the positive test, telling people around him that he did not knowingly take any banned substances.

A spokesman for Braun issued a statement Saturday: “There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”

In a February 2009 interview with MLB.com, Braun said he wasn’t interested in using steroids.

“It’s never something that I sought,” Braun said before showing a flash of his sense of humor and his well-documented self-confidence. “I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”

When asked about the revelation that Alex Rodriguez used steroids, Braun said “It will be interesting to see what he has to say. I will say that I think he’s done everything that he should have done [since the story broke] and the best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest. The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”

Braun is facing a 50-game suspension as a first-time offender of MLB’s PED policy. He is 12th MVP associated with PED usage, joining Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens, and Jose Canseco. I still think Matt Kemp was slightly more valuable in the regular season.

Ex-Enforcer Georges Laraque: Steroids and PEDs are a Problem in NHL

When the topic of performance-enhancing substances arises, we are almost never discussing hockey. For whatever reason, steroids and the NHL don’t go together. Either using PEDs is not a common practice in hockey, or testing is virtually ineffective. According to ex-enforcer Georges Laraque, steroid and illegal drug use was a problem in the NHL not too long ago.

As TSN shared with us, Laraque talks about steroid use in the NHL in his new book, “The Story of the NHL’s Unluckiest Tough Guy.”

“I have to say here that tough guys weren’t the only players using steroids in the NHL,” the former Canadien wrote. “It was true that quite a lot of them did use this drug, but other, more talented players did too. Most of us knew who they were, but not a single player, not even me, would ever think of raising his hand to break the silence and accuse a fellow player.”

Laraque explained that if you look at a player’s decrease in efficiency and weight loss, you’ll notice there is a significant drop every four years when the Winter Olympics are held.  Obviously, the Olympics have a strict drug testing policy which would result in players being declared ineligible if they were caught.

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Manny Pacquiao Reportedly Will Take Blood Tests without Cutoff Date

Even though Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been called a chicken for not fighting Manny Pacquiao (and in Michael Irvin’s words, made brothers look bad), the real reason negotiations have always broken down is because Pacquiao would never submit to complete Olympics-style drug testing.

At first, Pacquiao refused to have his blood drawn, citing a fear of needles. Then, his camp said he would submit to a blood test but there had to be a cutoff date prior to the fight (at least 14 days). That’s where most people got the story wrong. Just because Pacquiao was willing to take the blood test doesn’t mean he was open to random testing — his people wanted to have a cutoff date. Apparently that stance has finally changed.

Tucked into Lance Pugmire’s story on Floyd Mayweather Jr., who’s preparing for a September fight with Victor Ortiz, was this important nugget on Pacquiao’s new position.

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Anthony Gonzalez Believes Many NFL Players are Using HGH

The NFL is set to begin testing for HGH, possibly as early as Week 1 of the upcoming season. Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez believes the league is going to find a lot once testing is underway.  According to the Indy Star, Gonzalez said he would not be surprised if HGH use was widespread across the NFL.  That should not come as earth-shattering news to anyone, but it certainly carries more merit when coming from a player than a member of the media.

“How many guys are on it, that’s hard to say,” Gonzalez said. “It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it’s too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don’t add up; they don’t look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they’re in the NFL and they look totally different. I don’t know how prevalent it is at this point, but to say that it’s not being used, that’s wrong.”

The NFLPA can’t be happy about those comments.  Players try to protect themselves from random, invasive testing for a number of reasons.  Steelers safety Ryan Clark is one player who expressed concern with the testing, arguing that the players wanted to get a new CBA done so badly that testing was overlooked.  Clark and others wonder if the test will be “too invasive” and the league will use the blood to search for more than just HGH.  I can’t see that happening, and even if they did they would be in extremely hot water if they released the results.

If people are indeed using HGH, testing is necessary and will help clean up the game.  After all, it’s not like they’re testing for deer antler spray.

Chest bump to Shutdown Corner for the story.

MLB Warns Players Against Using Deer Antler Spray as Performance-Enhancer

Raise your hand if you’ve ever ground up the antlers of a deer and ingested the velvet for its performance-enhancing effect. Good, looks like we’re not alone here. Apparently ingesting deer antler spray is the latest rage among baseball players. So much so that MLB actually has issued a warning against players, according to Tom Verducci at SI.com.

Verducci writes that “chemists have figured out that the velvet from immature deer antlers includes insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-1, which mediates the level of human growth hormone in the body, and is also banned by MLB and the World Anti-Doping Agency, among others, for its muscle-building and fat-cutting effects.”

The best part about antler spray, if you’re so inclined, is that it cannot be detected by urine tests. So if you thought that baseball players weren’t juicing just because MLB is now testing, you were wrong. Players are just coming up with more creative ways to get around the tests. Next thing you know they’ll be doing this to get an edge.