Holy Dr. Jacob Rosenstein Batman!
Great stuff on this via Tom Verducci -
Major League Baseball has a drug problem again and is engaged in discussions with the players’ association regarding what to do about it. The very specific problem is the use of fast-acting synthetic testosterone, the primary performance-enhancing drug of choice among emboldened players who believe they can avoid detection with dosages that are carefully timed and controlled.
Testosterone was the substance that triggered positive tests in the previous 12 months by Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, Melky Cabrera of San Francisco, Bartolo Colon of Oakland and Yasmani Grandal of San Diego. Braun’s positive test, which occurred during the 2011 postseason, was overturned upon appeal after he challenged procedural issues related to the sample. The other players were suspended 50 games. Grandal, who flunked a test in September, did not challenge his positive test and was suspended this week — the seventh PED suspension this year, the most in five years.
Synthetic testosterone, which aids in strength gain, muscle recovery and the prevention of tissue breakdown, has become popular because of how quickly it acts and leaves the system when measured by routine drug screening — less than 24 hours, according to some reports. Players believe they can use the synthetic testosterone, which can be applied through creams, gels and patches, immediately after being tested or before off days without fear of being caught as part of a year-round regimen.
Human growth hormone remains another banned drug of choice because baseball does not test for it during the season. Players were subject to one blood test — effectively an announced test — when they arrived at spring training. Negotiations continue about more extensive blood testing.
One major league scout said he now includes notations in his reports about possible PED use when he sees spikes in performance. He lamented “how dirty” the game has once again become because of the popularity and ease of use of synthetic testosterone.
One head trainer, when asked last month about the popularity of fast-acting synthetic testosterone, replied, “I don’t know anything about it.” That’s the kind of position — either ignorance or complicity — that helped put baseball into The Steroid Era in the first place.
I have to give Tommy-Vee a lot of credit for having the courage to try and blow the lid on this issue.
Who says there no such thing as chemistry as a factor of success in baseball?