Monday, January 5, 2009

Romero to Get 50 Game Suspension

When I first heard this I assumed the Phillies reliever tested positive for steroids, and having been caught red handed he was issued the suspension. Apparently, the issue is not so clear. Romero says that he bought a supplemant from GNC, had a nutritionist check it, and since it had no warning labels was said to be fine. The Players Association had told players that the supplement was okay to use. He then tested positive for it twice, and disciplinary action was passed down. He appealed to an arbitration board, who issued a ruling against him. Since then, the players union issued a statement to players saying:


"We have previously told you there is no reason to believe a supplement bought at a U.S. based retail store could cause you to test positive under our Drug Program. That is no longer true. We have recently learned of three substances which can be bought over the counter at stores in the United States that will cause you to test positive. These three supplements were purchased at a GNC and Vitamin Shoppe in the U.S."


At the arbitration hearing, the MLB officials put forth a bottle of the supplement with a warning label on it saying that it may be banned by some athletic agencies. Romero provided the bottle he had, which had no such warning.


All in all, this really sucks for Romero. It seems like he really tried to do the right thing, and now has to miss nearly a third of the season. This doesn't seem like a Clemens style denial. Romero knows he took it, but the bottle had no warning, his nutritionist saw no problems with it, the players association said this kind of supplement was okay, and it was bought in a store not owned by Brian McNamee. I know baseball is oversensitive to the issue of performance enhancers now, but this is kind of ridiculous. First they spend years ignoring steroids as an issue in baseball, profiting from it even, and now they're coming down hard on players who take over the counter supplements.

UPDATE: I should punch Fox Sports' horse in the face. Their report makes Romero sound so guilty. Instead of using all the quotes from Romero, or at least the ones where he defends himself, they used all the ones where he says things like "I'm not guilty" or "I still cannot see where I did something wrong". They don't at any point talk about there not being a label on the substance, the players association telling him it was okay to use, his nutritionist saying it was okay. Way to go Fox Sports. If you didn't give us enough reason to hate you by not letting us watch our out-of-market teams on Saturday, or by forcing us to watch Saturday baseball on mute because of your commentators, you've also given us your purely one-sided opinions. Thank you for all your contributions to baseball.

14 comments:

Quinn said...

what was he taking?

Fernando Alejandro said...

I don't know, but it had to be something good to merit this kind of response.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, Mark McGwire got his stuff over the counter at GNC, too.
This does sound bogus.
I lay the whole stinking steroid mess right on top of Selig. If he hadn't ignored the probelm for so long, it wouldn't have bit us all in the ass like it has.
I don't think the Player's Association could have stuck with objecting to Olympics-like standards years ago.

Joe

She-Fan said...

Doesn't sound fair at all. Btw, how come the other Tex isn't having a press conference today? The pitcher we got in the Swisher deal? Poor guy.

Roberto Alejandro said...

Baseball did turn a blind eye to steroids, but I don't blame them. Baseball was still struggling from the aftermath of the 1994 player strike, then 1998 came along. McGwire and Sosa, Juan Gone chasing the RBI record, the Mets defense, the Yankees record breaking regular season. It made Baseball the national past time again. That being said, if its a black eye, it shouldn't just be taken out on the players, and Selig bears just as much responsibility. Unfortunately, the players will be treated like cheaters while the big dogs count the money.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Unfortunately Jane, that Tex has a lot of ground to cover before he merits a press conference. By the sounds of things though, he could be pretty good.

By the by, I liked your take on the Tex press conference. Funny stuff!

Quinn said...

PAVANO IS AN INDIAN

Roberto Alejandro said...

wow, where's TribeGirl? You give us CC and we give you Pavano? WTF?

bigjf said...

Harold Reynolds did the same shit on the MLB Network. He's starting to get on my nerves. I'd really like to know what product he was using.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Bigjf, I was wondering that too. They've been very hush hush about it. Its either something really crazy like anabolic creatine, or something really dumb like grapefruit seed extract. Either way, they're not saying.

Anonymous said...

I read it somewhere today, but can't find it again. Maybe ESPN.com?
They gave the brand name 60X0 or something like that.

Joe

Raven King said...

How come the performance-enhancing-drug-selling GNC and the manufacturer get no suspension?

Fernando Alejandro said...

I saw it in the ESPN article. I tried to look it up on the GNC site, but couldn't find anything like it.

bigjf said...

Maybe the product was bought in a GNC outside of the states? Are there GNC stores in other countries? If so, perhaps they sell certain products with substances that are banned in the United States because the laws are different. It's a real issue that needs to be looked into going forward.