Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baseball, hot dogs and female fertility drugs

Was it a case of Manny being Manny or Manny Ramirez cheating to get an edge? 

Major League Baseball suspended the Los Angeles Dodgers star for 50 days after he tested positive for a female fertility drug used as a masking agent for steroid users.
A source said that the substance was HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, which is prescribed to stimulate female fertility and testosterone production in men and to treat delayed puberty in boys. HCG is not classified as a steroid but was clearly defined as a banned performance enhancer according to the drug agreement between baseball and its players association. Banned substances can only be taken with prior knowledge and medical clearance from baseball's drug-program administrators. Such exceptions are known as Therapeutic Use Exemptions, or TUEs. The suspension is an indication Ramirez did not have a TUE for the substance.

Ramirez is the first major star to receive a suspension under MLB's drug testing rules that went into effect in 2003. The suspension will cost Ramirez approximately $7.65 million.

In a game that celebrates cheating, from doctoring baseballs to stealing signs, from corking bats to watering home plate, Ramirez crossed Bud Selig's line in the sand. Alex Rodriguez has been accused of tipping opponents to pitches during blowouts in hopes someone would do the same for him, yet he's roasted for his use of performance enhancing drugs.  

Of the two, tipping opposing batters of what pitch is coming is the far more insidious crime as it is an act of betrayal. At least if a player is juicing he's helping his own team.

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