Ryan Braun reportedly would not answer questions about Biogenesis

Ryan BraunMLB plans to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and as many as 20 other players soon after the All-Star break because of their ties to Biogenesis, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports.

Tony Bosch, who ran the Biogenesis clinic, cut a deal with MLB last month to provide information which helped them build their cases against the players in question.

One reason Braun could be facing a lengthy suspension is because he would not answer questions about his relationship with Biogenesis or Bosch during a June 29 meeting with MLB, per Outside the Lines.

Braun has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs despite failing a drug test in 2011 and appearing in the Biogenesis records.

Braun’s 50-game suspension for the positive test was overturned after he won his appeal because the tester did not follow proper protocol when handling the sample. Braun also said he was listed in Bosch’s notes because his lawyers used Bosch as a consultant during his appeal.

Braun continues to avoid the subject matter. He said through a club spokesperson that he will not address the Biogenesis issue with reporters.

Ryan Madson considers HGH amid struggle to get healthy

Ryan MadsonRyan Madson is struggling to get healthy as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The relief pitcher signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in November that could have been worth as much as $7 million if he reached all his incentives/bonuses. Though Madson was initially expected to be ready to pitch in the majors in April — 12 months after his surgery — he has yet to pitch in a game for the Angels this season. Madson has experienced multiple setbacks and persistent soreness in his elbow, which has left him desperate for an answer.

On Tuesday, Madson expressed so much frustration with his situation that he told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez he would be interested in something like HGH to aid his recovery if it weren’t illegal.

“If HGH were legal,” Madson said, “just in the process of healing, under a doctor’s recommendation, in the right dosage, while you’re on the [disabled list], I don’t think that’s such a bad idea — as long as it doesn’t have any lasting side effects, negative side effects.”

Though Madson brought up the possibility of using HGH, he says he has never used anything illegal to get an edge on his competition.

“Right now [using HGH is] cheating. I’ve never done anything like that, and I won’t,” he told Gonzalez.

Madson says he hasn’t used HGH and won’t use it because it’s illegal, but he does believe it should be under certain circumstances. If it’s under a doctor’s care, for the right dosage, and used for healing, he thinks it should be allowed. He does make a distinction between HGH and steroids, saying that allowing steroids would be too much.

Madson, 22, was a featured reliever in the Philadelphia Phillies’ bullpen from 2004-2011. He posted a 3.60 ERA with 547 strikeouts in 630 innings for them. He has not pitched in the majors since 2011. It’s looking like it may be until 2014 before he finally pitches again in MLB.

Some people agree with Madson and believe that PEDs should be allowed for entertainment, or to help some of our favorite players return and recover from injuries. Though I believe in using surgery to repair broken bones and torn ligaments, I still have a problem ethically with allowing substances that have side effects like steroids or HGH.

100-game suspensions for A-Rod and Ryan Braun? MLB is on a rampage

Ryan BraunMLB is looking to suspend around 20 players for their alleged involvement with Biogenesis, a now-defunct anti-aging clinic run by quack Tony Bosch that allegedly doubled as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to several athletes, ESPN reports.

The most jaw-dropping item in the ESPN “Outside the Lines” report is that MLB might seek 100-game suspensions for former MVPs Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, which is the penalty for a second doping offense. According to ESPN, MLB will consider the players’ connection to Bosch a first offense, and the players denying involvement with Biogenesis in statements to MLB a second offense.

ESPN says Bosch is broke, living with friends and/or family, and fearful of facing charges from the federal government. Though in the past Bosch denied association with athletes, he reportedly is now prepared to talk to MLB because he supposedly believes cooperating with them is his only option. MLB would also be cutting him a sweet deal.

ESPN states in its report:

In exchange for Bosch’s full cooperation, sources said, Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March, indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation, provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that might bring charges against him.

MLB is also looking for cooperation from two other former Bosch employees so that they would have more documented statements and evidence against the players involved with the clinic.

Currently, ESPN has the names of 15 players who may face suspension. They say about 20 could face suspension. It’s possibly that the remaining players appear in Bosch’s notes under code names.

Based on the names of players we have, the teams who would be hit hardest by the potential suspensions include:

[Read more...]

Top MLB Draft prospect Jonathan Gray tests positive for Adderall

Jonathan Gray OklahomaJonathan Gray, a pitcher who might go first overall in this week’s MLB Draft, tested positive for Adderall in an MLB test administered to the top 200 draft prospects, according to various reports.

Gray, a 6-foot-4, 239-pound junior at Oklahoma, can throw 100 mph and is expected to be one of the first players taken in the draft. The positive test for Adderall is not expected to hurt his draft stock, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, but future positive tests could result in a suspension.

Amateur players are not subject to MLB suspensions for failing a test. However, MLB players are suspended 25 games if they fail a test for the second time.

Adderall is a medication used to treat ADD, and MLB allows players to apply for a medical exemption. ESPN’s Keith Law says Gray did not have a prescription for the drug.

Gray was selected in the 10th round in 2010 and 13th round in 2011 (he played his freshman season at a community college). After going 8-4 with a 3.16 ERA last season, he has gone 10-2 with a 1.59 ERA in 16 starts this season. Gray has struck out 138 batters in 119 innings.

Below is a video of Gray pitching against UCLA in March. He dialed it up to 100 mph a few times, located well, and showed a disgusting tailing changeup and pretty nasty slider:

[Read more...]

David Ortiz ‘hurt’ by steroid accusations following his hot start

David-Ortiz-rips-Buster-OlneyDavid Ortiz is off to the best start of his career with the Boston Red Sox. A notoriously slow starter in April, Big Papi is hitting .381 with 17 RBI and four home runs through only 16 games. He missed the first 15 games of the season because of an Achilles’ injury that stemmed back to last July, but the 37-year-old returned without missing a beat.

Since Ortiz’s hot start in 2013 is unusual for a player his age who normally comes crawling out of the gate, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe decided he would be the first one to bring up the steroid talk — despite the fact that Ortiz has only appeared in 16 games.

Hitting is not this easy. Athletes do not get better as they mature into their late 30s. Baseball has been peppered with performance-enhancing drugs for the last 20 years. The cheaters are always ahead of the testers. A number of players from the Dominican Republic have tested positive for steroids. Injuries to the Achilles’ tendon are consistent with steroid use. It is not natural for a guy to hit .426 out of the gate without the benefit of any spring training.

Of course, Shaughnessy pointed to the fact that Ortiz’s name appeared on a list of players who tested positive back in 2003. That being said, he has not failed a drug test in the last 10 years. If you think Ortiz is using performance-enhancing drugs, you must think either Major League Baseball is covering for him or he has found a way to cheat the system.

[Read more...]

Jon Jones: Chael Sonnen has been using steroids entire career

Jon Jones accused Chael Sonnen of using steroids his entire career and only seemed to give a light-hearted apology for making the statement.

Jones and Sonnen will face each other on April 27 in New Jersey for Jones’ UFC light heavyweight championship belt. During an interview with “UFC Tonight” on Tuesday, Jones was asked why he hasn’t talked much trash leading up to the fight. He then was asked about his lone trash-talking remark about Sonnen, in which he said the challenger lacks a “champion’s soul.”

“Chael Sonnen is a guy who people know he’s done steroids throughout his whole career,” Jones told host Dominick Cruz. “It’s probably why his testosterone is low now and I don’t think that’s the heart or attitude of a champion. So that’s what I meant when I said he lacks ‘championship soul’.”

Jones tweeted a similar thought on Monday:

In case you’re unfamiliar, TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy. Fighters can be granted waivers by the UFC to receive testosterone if they’re medically proven to have low levels. Sonnen is one of those fighters, and he had a controversy after his fight with Anderson Silva in 2010. Sonnen tested positive for high levels of testosterone and was later suspended by the California State Athletic Committee for not taking the steps to receive an exemption for TRT usage. Though Sonnen says he needs the TRT to treat hypogonadism, many believe that fighters end up with low testosterone levels because of past steroid abuse (as referenced in Jones’ tweet).

Jones tweeted Wednesday to say he was apologizing:

Jones never gave an explanation for what happened, leading me to believe he wasn’t really apologizing.

Below is an interview where Sonnen talks about steroids, but be prepared to get dizzy from all the circles he talks in:

[Read more...]

Richard Sherman says half the NFL takes Adderall, NFL calls him ‘ill-informed’

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman won an appeal after failing a drug test last season, but many people feel that it did not prove his innocence. Sherman insisted that he was a victim of errors during the collection process and had his four-game suspension overturned. Prior to that, there was quite a bit of speculation that he had taken Adderall.

The NFL’s performance-enhancing drug testing policy makes it so that the public only knows when a player tests positive for a banned substance — not which substance they tested positive for. As a result, more and more players who fail tests are saying it was the result of Adderall use, which sounds better  than using something like steroids. According to Sherman, half the players in the NFL should be failing their drug tests.

“About half the league takes it [Adderall] and the league has to allow it,” Sherman told The Vancouver Sun earlier this week. “The league made a mistake in my case. Obviously, I didn’t do anything, but you have to go through a process to prove you didn’t do anything. There are still naysayers out there who don’t believe me. But I accept it. If everybody loves you, it probably means you’re not much of a player.”

Since Sherman insisted he was clean and his failed test was a result of a testing error, that must mean he isn’t part of that 50%. Whether or not you wish to believe that is a matter of opinion, but the NFL insists Sherman’s comments are completely off-base.

“The comments are ill-informed and inaccurate,” an NFL rep reportedly told TMZ on Wednesday. “Adderall is easily detected under current testing and will result in a suspension absent an approved therapeutic use exemption. … If his statement were true, we would be seeing many more positive tests and suspensions.”

“More importantly, his comments are irresponsible, as they ignore the serious medical risks and documented public health crisis associated with the improper use of Adderall and similar drugs.”

If Sherman is right, the NFL has a major issue with detecting Adderall. If he’s simply fabricating the story, that would make it even harder to believe that he truly never used the drug himself.

H/T Pro Football Talk