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Monday, June 25, 2018

PEDs

Chael Sonnen: Jon Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers

Jon Jones crying

Jon Jones was pulled from UFC 200 after failing a drug test weeks before the event. The interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was contrite after his positive test — which was later confirmed with a “B” sample — and said he didn’t even know how to pronounce the substance he tested positive for. But a few MMA insiders have some insight about his failed test.

Last week UFC fighter Rashad Evans said Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers. Chael Sonnen said the same thing Monday on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

This is unconfirmed information at this point and has not been sourced by actual reporters nor confirmed by USADA — the drug testing agency employed by the UFC.

Estrogen blockers are considered banned substances because they can be used in conjunction with a steroids cycle. Since an athlete taking steroids would have more testosterone in the body, that would lead to a production of more estrogen (a female hormone that can lead to the production of fat and breasts), which is unwanted for male athletes, hence the estrogen blockers.

Jeff Francoeur: Players want stiffer penalties for PED use

Jeff-Francoeur

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur wants Major League Baseball to punish performance-enhancing drug users more severely, and the 12-year veteran says he is not alone.

In an appearance on Buster Olney’s “ESPN’s Baseball Tonight” podcast Thursday, Francoeur estimated that 90 percent of MLB players are in favor of stiffer PED penalties.

“The system is flawed,” Francoeur said, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “There’s no other way around it. Guys get docked 80 games (pay) or whatever it is. Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But if you sign a $60 million deal and you’re losing maybe $5 million, it’s worth it for a lot of these guys. It stinks because there are buddies of mine who were basically battling these guys for jobs. It’s just unfair.”

Francoeur said he knows some PED users and likes them on a personal level, but he still considers them cheaters.

“I know a lot of guys that have been busted, and they’re good people,” he said. “I like them a lot. But at the end of the day, they’re cheating the system.”

The current joint drug-testing program calls for an 80-game suspension for a first-time violation, 162 games for the second offense and a lifetime ban for the third. A dozen MLB players have already been suspended this season, with plenty more getting penalized under baseball’s minor league drug agreement

While the goal of the MLB Players Association is to keep power away from the league, Francoeur believes the players may have to cede control in this instance.

“We stand our ground on a lot of issues, whether it’s arbitration or free-agency rights. We fight hard for that as a union,” he said. “But you’re probably looking at 90 percent of players that want stiffer penalties on PEDs. I think we have to start listening to the majority of the players, and not the other way around.”

Earlier this season, Justin Verlander went off about PED penalties and called for them to be more harsh. You can read his tweet here.

Some will argue that there are instances where a player legitimately doesn’t know he took something that was on MLB’s banned substance list. Should players be banned for life in those situations, or do they deserve another chance? That has, and will continue to be, the biggest debate.

Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones’ failed drug test likely not due to cocaine

Jon Jones

UFC 200 was thrown into a frenzy on Wednesday night when it was revealed that Jon Jones failed an out-of-competition drug test, leading to the UFC to remove him from his scheduled fight against Daniel Cormier on Saturday.

Jones’ failed test stemmed from a June 16 sample collected by USADA. The sample was taken three weeks ago and considered “out-of-competition,” which is different from in-competition. Typically in-competition samples are regarded as ones taken the day of or week leading up to a fight. The range of products that could trigger a positive sample for an in-competition drug test is much greater than out of competition tests.

USADA does not ban recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroine, marijuana etc out of competition. Nor do they ban narcotics like morphine or amphetamines like ritalin out of competition.

That means a positive test was likely triggered by something like a steroid, hormone, diuretic, IV or anything else associated with performance-enhancers.

Now why would people think cocaine when it comes to a failed drug test for Jones? He tested positive for coke a month before his last fight against Cormier in Jan. 2015 and ended up going to rehab (for a day). Some are speculating that his positive test could have been triggered by a tainted supplement.

Glove touch to Bloody Elbow

O.J. Mayo dismissed from NBA for violating league anti-drug program

OJ Mayo

O.J. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA after violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program, the NBA announced Friday.

Mayo, who is currently a free agent, will be allowed to apply for reinstatement in two years under the terms of the league’s policy.

Mayo was suspended for 10 games back in 2011 for use of a banned substance. The league is not at liberty to disclose whatever led to his current ban.

Mayo was once the top recruit in the country and was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft – one pick ahead of Russell Westbrook, in fact. The 28-year-old has also played for Dallas and most recently Milwaukee. He has averaged 13.8 points per game over the course of an eight year career that, relative to expectations, has been underwhelming, especially when you consider that the most notable thing that happened to him last year was scuffling with Draymond Green.

The most recent comparison to be made here is that of Chris Andersen, who was also booted from the NBA for drug use back in 2006. He served his time, was reinstated after two years, and has carved out a solid career for himself without getting into any further off-court trouble. We will see if Mayo can do the same.

Report: NFL to interview players named in Al-Jazeera PED report at start of camp

clay-matthews

The NFL is reportedly set to ramp up its investigation of the allegations levied against several players in the recent Al-Jazeera America PED report.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the league said in an internal memo that it is set to interview four players – Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, and free agent linebacker Mike Neal – after they were tied to PED use in the Al-Jazeera America documentary.

The interviews for the currently signed players are set to be conducted on the first day of their team’s training camp. Neal’s interview will take place on or before July 22.

There is no mention of now-retired Peyton Manning in the memo, but a source told Pelissero that his investigation is progressing as well.

Last December, these players along with several others across sports were accused of PED use as part of al Al-Jazeera America investigation. Charlie Sly, a primary informant for the story, has recanted his allegations, but that has not stopped the NFL from proceeding with its own investigation.

Jeremy Guthrie calls Marlon Byrd a ‘joke’ after failed PED test

marlon-byrd

Marlon Byrd again tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, and one Padres pitcher was not shy about saying how he felt about Byrd and anyone else who cheats the game.

Back in 2012, Byrd received a 50-game suspension after a first positive test. On Wednesday, we learned Byrd tested positive once more. This time he will miss 162 games.

As the news began to make its rounds, the 38-year-old Byrd was understandably bashed for his second failed test. Among those to let the Indians outfielder have it was Jeremy Guthrie, a veteran pitcher in the Padres’ minor league system, who via his Twitter account called Byrd a joke.

Guthrie wasn’t the only one to speak out on the matter. Former major league pitcher Dan Haren recalled when Byrd miraculously recovered from a broken wrist and hit a home run off of him.

Byrd spoke candidly about his first failed test, calling it a “stupid” move on his part. However, he finds himself in a similar position yet again. Byrd said in a statement he has decided to forgo his right to appeal and will accept the suspension, which is effective immediately.

Marlon Byrd reportedly facing second career PED suspension

marlon-byrd

Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has reportedly tested positive for performance enhancing drugs for a second time.

Byrd would be facing a 162 game suspension if the report is true.

Byrd was also suspended in 2012 for testing positive for a banned substance. He claimed that that suspension came from a medication he had been using to treat a private medical condition.

Byrd was hitting .270 with 5 home runs in 34 games for Cleveland in 2016. He turns 39 in August, and with a 162 game suspension looming and two positive tests to his name, it stands to reason that he might not get the chance to come back from this.

We heard about a month ago that more PED suspensions were coming from Major League Baseball, and it sounds unlikely that this will be the end of it.

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